Thursday, June 18, 2009
Tom Watson, 1982 U.S. Open
Of all the remarkable moments from the 1982 U.S. Open, one is indelibly etched in memory. Twenty-seven years ago Tom Watson called his shot and danced around the 17th green at Pebble Beach after holing a miraculous chip shot. This photo was taken by former Monterey County Herald staff photographer Robert Fish with a 500mm f/8 mirror lens.
Watson entered the championship as one of the clear-cut favorites. In the past few years he had supplanted Nicklaus as the game’s No. 1 player. His familiarity with the course from his college days at nearby Stanford and as a two-time winner of the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am also helped make him the prognosticators pick
In one of the most memorable moments in Open history, Tom Watson birdied the 17th hole at Pebble Beach by pitching in to the cup from off the green and won his first Open Championship. The win earned Watson top prize money of $60,000. Jack Nicklaus finished second. Watson, 32, from Kansas City, Missouri, won with the scores of 72-72-68-70-282, six under par. Nicklaus shot 74-70-71-69 -284. This was the fourth time Nicklaus finished as runner-up in the Open, tying a record shared by Sam Snead, Bob Jones, and Arnold Palmer.