Bruce Frankel

Author of the new book "What Should I Do with the Rest of My Life? True Stories of Finding Success, Passion, and New Meaning in the Second Half of Life."

Watson Tees Off Against Age At The Masters

April 9, 2010

My adrenalin is kicking up as tee-time for Tom Watson approaches in the second round of the Masters in Augusta, Ga.

When he was younger, I confess I wasn’t much of a fan, probably for some of the same reasons I wasn’t a New York Yankees fan as a boy. Watson, like Jack Nicklaus before him and Tiger Woods after, was just so dominant. I craved the eccentric, not the expected. But now that we’re both 60, my interest in his success is keen.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Round 1 leader Fred Couples, age 50 and playing in his 26th Masters, too. He put it well yesterday after finishing with a personal best six-under par 66. “It’s a great start for the older guys,” Couples said. He attributed his success to knowledge of the course. “I knew I could be patient. I wasn’t expecting to shoot four under on the back nine, but I did.”

Putting aside all the hoopla surrounding Tiger’s return to golf after a brief season of ignomy, the drama picks up where last year’s British Open at Turnberry ended when he came within one shot of winning the title for the sixth time. But after he missed his par putt from eight feet on the final hole, Stewart Cink, who had birdied the 18th, went on to beat Watson in a four-hole playoff. Watson hardly counted the near-victory success. His goal, undiluted by age, was to win. “It would have been a hell of a story, wouldn’t it?” he said. Conceding nothing to age, he’d dearly like to complete the story at the Masters.

“It’s a long shot for somebody, still, honestly, of our age to do it,” Watson said, referring to the four golfers over 50 who are under par at Augusta National. “But still, they can do it.”

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