Watson starts early at Australian Open

December 9, 2012

Tom Watson found himself in an unusual position Sunday at a national championship - completing his final round well before the leaders teed off at the Australian Open.

The 63-year-old American and eight-time major champion shot a 3-under 69 in the second group at The Lakes. His early start - 6:56 a.m. - came courtesy of a 78 Saturday, his second of the week.

He finished the tournament at 5-over 293 in calm morning conditions, quite a difference from his last performance at the Australian Open in 1984 when he won at Royal Melbourne.

Watson said ''today I was a little bit more rested and I played half-decent golf.''


He later said he'd consider captaining the U.S. team at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland, 21 years after his first successful effort.

Watson said he had not been approached, but that it would be a privilege to take over from Davis Love III.

''It would be a great honor if I got tapped on the shoulder,'' Watson said. ''`93 was the last time I've been to a Ryder Cup. I'd like to go back as captain. That would be cool.''

Watson played on four U.S. Ryder Cup teams in 1977, 1981, 1983 and 1989 and successfully captained the Americans to victory over Europe at The Belfry in England in 1993.

Europe won the Ryder Cup this year at Medinah, Illinois, with an improbable last-day comeback.