The players Watson used to beat on the regular Tour expect him, putting woes and all, to succeed as a Senior. "If this tour is a blood bank, he's going to be Count Dracula having a gory feast," says Gary McCord, the part-time golfer and full-time TV announcer who was bounced from Masters telecasts at Watson's behest, then found himself paired with him for two rounds last week. Says Morgan, who had been keeping pace with Irwin until this year, "Maybe Tom and I can be a tag team. Hale is a tough cookie."
Whatever Watson's impact turns out to be, it won't be felt until next year, because this week's Bank One Championship, in Dallas, is the only other Senior event he plans to enter in '99. In the meantime the Senior tour is just happy to have another strong player with a famous name. If Watson can regain his luster, that would be icing on the cake.