“IT’S ALL JOY!”
“There’s no reason to be sad,” remarked Tom Watson after walking off the 18th green at St Andrews having played his last Open Championship.
“There’s just so much joy in walking up that hole. I don’t know how to put it into any other words.
“I played a game for a living, and I played it pretty well over times.... It’s [St Andrews] a special place with special people, from day one when I started at Carnoustie right across the waters over here.”
The popular American received a standing ovation as he finished his second round in fading light. The five-time Open Championship winner did not score well enough to make the cut — after two rounds he was 12 over — but the 65-year-old relished the opportunity to play in the tournament that brought him his most major victories, his other wins the Masters (1977, 1981) and the 1982 US Open.
Watson never won at St Andrews — his Open Championship victories came at Carnoustie (1975), Turnberry (’77) Muirfield (’80), Troon (’82), Birkdale (’83) — but he did finish second to Steve Ballesteros in 1984 playing The Old Course.
Reminiscing about walking over the Swilcan Bridge for a final time, he said: “I looked up at the sky, and I said, ‘I know there are a lot of people watching over me... a lot of loved ones’. It was a special time.”