Denis Watson


Denis Watson
Denis Watson
Personal information
Full name Denis Leslie Watson
Born 18 October 1955 (1955-10-18) (age 56)
Salisbury, Rhodesia
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
PGA 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

Denis Leslie Watson (born 18 October 1955) is a professional golfer from Zimbabwe.

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.[1][2]

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.

Contents

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 United States Payne Stewart
2 26 Aug 1984 NEC World Series of Golf -9 (69-62-70-70=271) 2 strokes United States Bruce Lietzke
3 23 Sep 1984 Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational -19 (69-66-68-70-68=341) 1 stroke United States Andy Bean

PGA Tour playoff record (0-1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1982 Bay Hill Classic United States Tom Kite, United States 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
Victory
Runner(s)-up
1 27 May 2007 Senior PGA Championship -9 (71-71-69-68=279) 2 strokes Argentina Eduardo Romero
2 26 Aug 2007 Boeing Classic -9 (69-69-69=207) Playoff United States R. W. Eaks, United States David Eger, United States Gil Morgan,
Japan Naomichi Ozaki, United States Dana Quigley, United States Craig Stadler
3 16 Mar 2008 AT&T Champions Classic -7 (73-71-65=209) Playoff United States Brad Bryant, United States Loren Roberts
4 4 May 2008 FedEx Kinko's Classic -10 (67-70-69=206) 1 stroke United States Scott Hoch, United States Tim Simpson, Zimbabwe 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

Wins (1)

Year Championship Winning Score Margin Runner(s)-up
2007 Senior PGA Championship −9 (71−71−69−68=279) 2 strokes Argentina Eduardo Romero

Results timeline

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.

References

External links


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