Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The eight times major golf championships winner Tom Watson announced on Saturday (July 27, 2019) that he would retire from competing at the Senior Opens level. Sunday’s last round at the British Senior Open Championship at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Course will be his last Open competition.

In an interview with the Golf Channel the 69-year-old stated: “Well, the ‘Why?’ is pretty simple. I can’t compete against these guys anymore. I don’t hit the ball far enough.” His decision might also be influenced to some degree by the medical condition of his wife Hilary, who has been battling pancreatic cancer since 2017. Watson stated that he would only compete in selected tournaments in the future, cutting back heavily on his schedule.

Watson can look back on a long and prestigious career. He started playing professional golf in 1971, after completing a degree in Psychology at Stanford. He has 70 total professional wins under his belt. His eight major championship wins include five Open Championships, two Masters titles, and one U.S. Open title. He was PGA Player of the Year six times. Only Tiger Woods was Player of the Year more often.

Last Sunday Watson finished tied for 64th at 9-over. He left the field with loud cheers from the crowd. They kept following him despite the bad weather. In the end he took off his hat and waved to the crowd as he walked off the field.

‚ÄúThere will be other people who will take the reins and they will do what I did. Life is full of passages, and I’ve passed through my career here, starting in 1975 to here in 2019. It’s amazing,” Watson told the BBC.