Garcia’s pep talk proved key for Watson
By Bob Harig
TURNBERRY, Scotland — Tom Watson is taking it all in at Turnberry. Along with the beautiful scenery, it is easy for him to get sentimental here, owing to the memories of one of the game’s greatest triumphs’ occurring on these very grounds.
That is why a stunning first-round 65 and two birdie putts that seemingly started at the Isle of Arran on Friday have the 59-year-old Hall of Famer talking in spiritual tones, invoking another era to propel him to the top of the leaderboard at the 138th Open Championship.
Then again, a good ol’ kick in the pants from a gushing playing partner didn’t hurt, either.
“As we walked up the eighth fairway, I went up to him and gave him a little pat on the back and said, ‘Come on, old man, get it going,'” Sergio Garcia said. “He said, ‘Today, I am an old man and I’m playing like an old man.’ I told him to remember yesterday and that it was time for us to get going.”
Garcia, 29, was not even born when Watson won the 1977 Open here, the famed “Duel in the Sun” in which he shot 65-65 on the final 36 holes to Jack Nicklaus‘ 65-66. That showing earned Watson the second of his five Open Championships by 1 shot.
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