AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tom Watson plays his 43rd and final Masters this week at the age of 66. He wants to make the cut, naturally, and he wants at some point to see his name on the leaderboard next to today’s young superstars.
Last time that happened was 2010, when Watson opened with a 67 and wound up tied for 18th with Adam Scott and Ernie Els, among others.
Speaking of golf’s new generation, Watson favors Rory McIlroy above all the rest. Here are some of his thoughts on Rory and Jordan Spieth and Jason Day and all the rest.
“Rory’s the guy,” Watson said during a pre-tournament press conference. “He’s my pick this week. He’s just got a tremendous talent. He hits the ball high. I think it’s always been an advantage to hit the ball high on this golf course.
“These young guys, they have the skills to do different things with the golf ball when they have to, and Jordan can really maneuver the ball when he has to.
“Rory, he can emasculate a golf course. He flat can. He hits the ball high and so far. Look how good he did at Congressional.
“And Jason Day, he hits the ball very high, same trajectory, almost with every club, it seems like, from the wedge to the driver.
“I’m very impressed about how they play the game, but I’m equally impressed by how they handle themselves outside of just playing the game. They are genuinely nice people. They help people out. They treat the fans well. They kid around with the fans and they do things that I never did. I had my blinders on. If I hit it in the fairway, I was down in the fairway, and I was all game.
“And the other thing is that they are working out on their bodies more than we did…What is it with these really short-sleeved shirts, tight? They put one of those things on me and all they saw was chest hair and that I needed a manssiere.”