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Questions For Tom Watson
JIM GORANT
August 01, 2005
It took three extra holes, but Tom Watson beat Des Smyth to win his second Senior British Open in Scotland
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August 01, 2005

Questions For Tom Watson

It took three extra holes, but Tom Watson beat Des Smyth to win his second Senior British Open in Scotland

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Q: It must mean a lot to you to hold that little claret jug again.
TW: Very much so. Today it was somewhat of a struggle, the rhythm wasn't quite there like yesterday. [In the playoff] it looked as if we were going to play 18 about nine or 10 times, but we ended up on 17. Des made an error, and, fortunately, I got the cup in my hands.

Q: So we can expect to see you here again?
TW: Well, this is a beautiful course. We played it under very severe conditions the first two rounds, and we got to know it the last couple of rounds. It's all you want for a links course, and I'm very happy to have won here.

Q: Will you continue to play the British Open as well?
TW: Yeah, I'll be playing with the kids for a while. Certainly I'll be defending my [senior] title next year.

Q: This is your sixth major win in Scotland. What is it about this place?
TW: I think they've made me an honorary Scot, haven't they?

Q: They should have. Your first major win was [in 1975] at Carnoustie, which is about 50 miles down the coast. Is there something in the air in this part of the world?
TW: Has to be the haggis. I remember a great little story there. John Mahaffey and Hubert Green and myself rented a house for the week, and we commuted to Carnoustie. In fact, I practiced out near the house before I went over to Carnoustie in the mornings. All week nobody in the neighborhood really bothered us. The people simply let us alone. But right before the [Monday] playoff, as we were getting into the car, a little girl came over in bare feet. It was [cold]. Bare feet. She gave me a little heather wrapped in tinfoil that I stuck in my bag. I kept that in my bag for about four years. That was very sweet.

Q: You were talking about your putting today. Is it fair to say you were close to throwing it all away?
TW: I was very close to throwing it away, yes. I missed the short birdie putt at 15 and three-putted 4. But I struggled with the putter all week. Fortunately, nobody else made any putts today.

Q: It seems that you have a soft spot for the course here at Royal Aberdeen.
TW: I said at the beginning of the week, with the conditions, around par would win, and essentially four people broke par. That was it. And we had pretty benign conditions the last two rounds. It's a very, very difficult golf course but a great links course. Obviously I had a lot of fun playing it.

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