- Denis Watson
Denis Watson Personal information Full name Denis Leslie Watson Born 18 October 1955
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 14 st) Nationality Zimbabwe Career Turned professional 1976 Current tour(s) Champions Tour Former tour(s) European Tour
Southern Africa Tour
European Seniors Tour
Professional wins 8 Number of wins by tour PGA Tour 3 Champions Tour 4 Best results in Major Championships Masters Tournament T27: 1987 U.S. Open T2: 1985 The Open Championship T15: 1982 PGA Championship 33rd: 1984
Watson was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) and educated at Oriel Boys High School, Chisipite. He was Rhodesian Sportsman of the Year in 1975, but went on to represent South Africa in the World Series of Golf in 1980 and 1982 – sporting connections between Rhodesia and Apartheid South Africa were blurred at the time, for example the Rhodesian cricket team was once part of the South African domestic set-up.
Watson turned professional in 1976 and played on the European Tour from 1978 to 1980. After moving to the United States, where he joined the PGA Tour, he had his career year in 1984 when he won the Buick Open, NEC World Series of Golf, and Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational to tie for the most wins on the PGA Tour that season.
Watson finished second in the 1985 U.S. Open, missing out on forcing a playoff by one shot, having incurred a two-stroke penalty earlier in the tournament. The penalty was assessed on the eighth hole in the first round, after he had waited longer than the allowed ten seconds for a putt that had hung on the lip of the hole to drop in. The ball did fall into the hole, but the birdie was disallowed and the penalty strokes added. The USGA and R&A, the sports governing bodies, have since amended the penalty for this rules infraction to just a single stroke. On the final day, Watson, starting down the field, set a clubhouse target of even par while the leaders were on the course at four under, then watched as several of those leaders dropped shots over the closing holes to fall back to, or behind, his score. Andy North was eventually the only player to beat him, by one shot despite himself bogeying the last hole.
Watson's career came to a sudden halt when he was injured while playing in the 1985 Goodyear Classic in South Africa. While hitting his ball out of the rough with a 9-iron, he struck a tree stump that had been hidden from view causing damage to his wrist, elbow and neck. He went on to win the tournament, but his problems had just begun. He required surgery on his wrist and neck, and was initially told that he would never play again. He did, but was unable to consistently reach the high standard that he had previously attained and after several more operations he retired towards the end of the 1990s.
After turning fifty, Watson joined the Champions Tour, and began to rediscover competitive form. He won the 2007 Senior PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, a senior major, by two strokes over Argentina's Eduardo Romero, his first win in 23 years. In one of the most remarkable comebacks ever seen in professional golf, Watson has become one of the Champions Tour's most competitive stars. He was voted the 2007 Champions Tour Rookie of the Year.
Professional wins (8)
PGA Tour wins (3)
No. Date Tournament Winning Score Margin of Victory Runner-up 1 12 Aug 1984 Buick Open -17 (70-70-63-68=271) 1 stroke Payne Stewart 2 26 Aug 1984 NEC World Series of Golf -9 (69-62-70-70=271) 2 strokes Bruce Lietzke 3 23 Sep 1984 Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational -19 (69-66-68-70-68=341) 1 stroke Andy Bean
PGA Tour playoff record (0-1)
No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result 1 1982 Bay Hill Classic Tom Kite, Jack Nicklaus Kite won with birdie on first extra hole
Other wins (1)
- 1985 Goodyear Classic (South Africa)
Champions Tour wins (4)
Legend Champions Tour major championships (1) Other Champions Tour (3) No. Date Tournament Winning Score Margin of
Runner(s)-up 1 27 May 2007 Senior PGA Championship -9 (71-71-69-68=279) 2 strokes Eduardo Romero 2 26 Aug 2007 Boeing Classic -9 (69-69-69=207) Playoff R. W. Eaks, David Eger, Gil Morgan,
Naomichi Ozaki, Dana Quigley, Craig Stadler
3 16 Mar 2008 AT&T Champions Classic -7 (73-71-65=209) Playoff Brad Bryant, Loren Roberts 4 4 May 2008 FedEx Kinko's Classic -10 (67-70-69=206) 1 stroke Scott Hoch, Tim Simpson, Nick Price
Results in major championships
Tournament 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 The Masters DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T53 CUT T27 DNP DNP U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2 T12 T36 DNP DNP The Open Championship T41 CUT DNP T15 WD DNP T47 CUT DNP DNP DNP PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP CUT DNP 33 T40 71 T40 T48 DNP Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 The Masters DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP U.S. Open DNP DNP WD DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 The Masters DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
WD = withdrew
"T" = tied
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.
Champions Tour major championships
Year Championship Winning Score Margin Runner(s)-up 2007 Senior PGA Championship −9 (71−71−69−68=279) 2 strokes Eduardo Romero
Results not in chronological order before 2011.
Tournament 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 The Tradition T9 T52 T50 61 T45 Senior PGA Championship 1 T26 CUT CUT CUT Senior British Open Championship T16 DNP T8 T41 DNP U.S. Senior Open T5 T52 T52 T53 DNP Senior Players Championship T31 T27 72 T11 DNP
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.
- ^ "Watson living proof that perseverance pays off". PGA of America. 15 May 2008. http://www.pga.com/2008/seniorpga/2008/05/15/watson_051508/index.html. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- ^ Shapiro, Leonard (3 July 2008). "Paying the Price". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/01/AR2008070102285.html. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
Senior PGA Championship champions
1980 Arnold Palmer† • 1981 Miller Barber • 1982 Don January • 1983 Not held • 1984 (Jan) Arnold Palmer • 1984 (Dec) Peter Thomson • 1985 Not held • 1986 Gary Player • 1987 Chi-Chi Rodríguez • 1988 Gary Player • 1989 Larry Mowry • 1990 Gary Player • 1991 Jack Nicklaus • 1992 Lee Trevino • 1993 Tom Wargo† • 1994 Lee Trevino • 1995 Raymond Floyd • 1996 Hale Irwin • 1997 Hale Irwin • 1998 Hale Irwin • 1999 Allen Doyle • 2000 Doug Tewell • 2001 Tom Watson • 2002 Fuzzy Zoeller • 2003 John Jacobs • 2004 Hale Irwin • 2005 Mike Reid† • 2006 Jay Haas† • 2007 Denis Watson • 2008 Jay Haas • 2009 Michael Allen • 2010 Tom Lehman† • 2011 Tom Watson†
† indicates the event was won in a playoff
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