Watson hoping to gain momentum in Georgia swing
Tom Watson hopes the Champions Tour's three-tournament swing through Georgia starting in Atlanta this week helps him get his game back in winning form.
After missing the cut in the Masters last week, Watson will play in one of the featured groups on Friday in the first round of the Greater Gwinnett Championship at TPC Sugarloaf. Watson will play with Bernhard Langer and David Frost in the Champions Tour's first stop in the Atlanta area since 2000.
The 63-year-old Watson says he hopes he can ''get on a little roll'' by playing three straight weeks in Georgia, including the Legends of Golf next week in Savannah.
''I like playing tournaments in a row like that because when you haven't played in a while your game gets a little ratty along the edges,'' Watson said. ''After playing a second week and a third week your game gets a little honed. Hopefully you can get on a little roll and win. That's what I'm still trying to do out here is win.''
Watson has won 14 Champions Tour events, most recently the 2011 Senior PGA Championship. He has won eight majors on the regular tour and five majors on the Champions Tour.
Most of the top names on the Champions Tour will compete for the inaugural Greater Gwinnett title, including rookie Rocco Mediate, who won the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Florida, on Feb. 10. He became the 16th player to win in his first Champions Tour event.
Mediate said he remembers some players complaining about the hilly TPC Sugarloaf course when it was the site for the U.S. PGA Tour's BellSouth Classic from 1997-2008.
''Just the up and downness of it,'' Mediate said. ''A lot of guys don't like the walk. It is a difficult walk, that's true. That's part of the game. If you don't like to walk hilly courses, don't play them, that's what I always say.''
Golf carts are optional on the Champions Tour, but Mediate said he will be walking.
Watson won the 1981 Atlanta Classic at the Atlanta Country Club, beating hometown favorite Tommy Valentine.
''They wanted the other Tommy to win, the local guy,'' Watson said.
Watson recently was selected as captain of the 2014 United States Ryder Cup team that will compete in Scotland.
Watson, who won five British Opens, was the captain of the team which won the 1993 Ryder Cup at The Belfry in England.
He said he has heard talk that he's too old to serve as captain.
Just as he believes he's not too old to win on the Champions Tour, he said he's not too old to lead and motivate younger players in the Ryder Cup.
''It's interesting to hear; some said, `Is Watson too old? Can he relate to the players?' I just say hogwash,'' he said. ''I've been there before. I know what's going on with the players. That's all that needs to be said.''