Watson relishing Australia return

Thursday, 1 November 2012
Tom Watson
Tom Watson

American golf veteran Tom Watson has revealed his caddy told him to enter this year's Australian Open and he hopes Adam Scott will give him some tips on The Lakes Golf Club.

Watson, an eight-time Major winner, rates his victory at the 1984 Australian Open as one of the highlights his career.

The 63-year-old American was pushed by his caddy to enter the Emirates Australian Open to ensure he takes advantage of playing at the top level before his body gives up.

"This opportunity arose and I jumped at it, I wanted to come to Australia again and play possibly my final tournament there," Watson said on Thursday.

"I want to continue to do that until I can't play a lick anymore against the kids."

Watson was contacted by Scott to play a practice round a couple of days before this year's tournament, which starts in Sydney on December 6.

While Watson hopes to get 'an inside scoop' from Scott on The Lakes Golf Club, he revealed some tips for the 32-year-old Australian, who threw away a four-shot lead late on to lose this year's British Open by a stroke to Ernie Els.

Scott bogeyed the last four holes in a disastrous finish and while Watson concedes he 'felt sick for several days afterwards' he believes the Australian world number six can turn that performance into a positive.

"I learned to win by losing. I learned to win by failing and correcting my errors and I don't think there's too many players who practiced more than I did," Watson said.

"One of the things I did was always practiced after a round of golf in competition.

"I went out to practice and try and correct the errors that I made on the golf course that particular day."

Watson could come up against some players almost a third of his age at the Emirates Australian Open but having had a look at The Lakes Golf Club online, he believes he can match the younger competitors.

The Lakes Golf Club is 6938 yards long in total and while Watson concedes he cannot compete on a long, wet course like Augusta National (7453 yards), he maintains that the dryer courses in Australia should give him an opportunity to shoot low scores.

"I was quite surprised at the shortness of the opening holes of the golf course where it looks as if, if the weather's right, you could probably get off to a good start and shoot some low scores," Watson said.