In the famous words of the Beatles, they pondered, "Will you still need me ... when I'm 64?" On Sunday at Royal Liverpool, the golf world responded with an emphatic "Yes" to Tom Watson.
At the tender age of 64 years old, it seemed fitting for Watson to play brilliantly yet again during the final round of the 2014 British Open. The five-time Open winner climbed up the leaderboard on Sunday by finishing with a four-under 68, per the Golf Channel:
Watson removed his cap and saluted the crowd at the 18th hole as he was walking onto the final green. It won't be his final British Open, but it was certainly still a special performance for the veteran golfer.
Coming into the weekend, Watson noted that he simply wanted to make the cut at Hoylake. After his play on Sunday, he finished with class and a loud crowd response, via The Open account:
Standing ovation for Tom Watson as he walks up the 18th fairway. We'll see him next year at St Andrews for his farewell performance.— The Open (@The_Open) July 20, 2014
Bob Harig of ESPN notes that he hopes to see Watson do the same at St. Andrews next season:
So great the R&A gave Tom Watson another year. 68 today. Gets to say goodbye at St. Andrews. Hope he makes cut there too. #TheOpen— Bob Harig (@BobHarig) July 20, 2014
Following the elder statesman's performance, Dan Jenkins of Golf Digest joked that the requirements at the course should be changed:
Since 64-year old Tom Watson closed with a four-under 68 a while ago, that must be par for Hoylake today.— Dan Jenkins (@danjenkinsgd) July 20, 2014
While Watson enjoyed some great play on Sunday, he has some tough decisions to make moving forward.
The American captain for this year's Ryder Cup needs to decide on his team following the British Open and has several big names to choose from. Two of those are Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, who he said aren't locks for the team, as Ron Green Jr. of Global Golf Post passes along:
Watson on Phil/Tiger and his Ryder Cup team: "I can assure you I am not going to pick them automatically."— RonGreenJr (@RonGreenJr) July 20, 2014
As for Woods, even after a poor showing on Sunday he still believes he should be on the team, per WJBK:
Woods says Watson should pick him for Ryder Cup http://t.co/gX3HN99bx4— FOX 2 News | WJBK (@FOX2News) July 20, 2014
Can Watson make the cut at St. Andrews?
Watson proved yet again that he is an ageless wonder when it comes to links golf on Sunday, but he still has quite a future ahead of him.
As the Ryder Cup captain, he plays a huge part in how the United States will fare during the competition. He then gets to return to St. Andrews next season to potentially post another memorable performance and make the cut.
Even after another year, the golfing community will still need Watson—even when he's 65.
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