Ageless Watson tied for lead at Masters
It's an afterglow, really, the result of his outstanding performance at last year's British Open at Turnberry, during which he came up one putt short of victory.
Watson carried that glow into Augusta National and thrilled the patrons by firing an opening-round 67, just seven shots over his age.
Watson is tied atop the leaderboard with Lee Westwood. Phil Mickelson and Y.E. Yang are also at 5-under par after 17 holes.
Watson said he drew inspiration from his caddie, son Michael, who told him before the round: "You can still play this golf course. Show me."
That he did.
Watson closed with a 10-foot birdie putt at the tough 18th hole, set up by a brilliant iron shot that skipped along the right side of the green, caught the ridge and turned back toward the flag.
Watson said he gives himself "a decent chance" to contend but added: "The beautiful thing about this course is that there's a tragedy awaiting you on every hole. You always know it."]
--Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune
Photo: Tom Watson tees off on the 12th hole during the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday in Augusta, Georgia. Credit: Matt Campbell.