Place of birth: Kansas City, Missouri
Nickname: Early in his career, Watson was tabbed "Huckleberry Dillinger" by some in the media. The unusual monicker stemmed from the young Watson's innocent-looking freckled face that didn't match his killer instinct on the course.
• Champions Tour: 14
• Masters: 1977, 1981
• U.S. Open: 1982
• British Open: 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983
Awards and Honors:
• PGA Tour money leader, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984
• PGA Tour Vardon Trophy winner, 1977, 1978, 1979
• PGA Tour Player of the Year, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984
Captain, USA Ryder Cup team, 1993
Member, USA Ryder Cup team, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1989
• Tom Watson: "If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate."
• Tom Watson: "I learned how to win by losing and not liking it."
• Lanny Wadkins: "Tom would never tolerate a weakness. He'd go to the practice tee and beat at it until the darn thing went away."
• In four of Tom Watson's eight major championship victories, Jack Nicklaus finished second.
Watson stood up to Nicklaus on numerous occasions, one of the few golfers who consistently went toe-to-toe with Nicklaus and came out on top.
Tom Watson Biography:
Watson played golf at Stanford University and graduated with a degree in psychology. He turned pro in 1971, but in his early years got the reputation of a player who wilted under pressure.
Watson began working with Byron Nelson, who would become a great friend and mentor, and in 1974 broke through with his first PGA Tour victory. In 1975, he won the Byron Nelson Classic, then his first British Open title. Watson was off and running.
He would go on to win the British Open a total of five times; the Masters twice, and the U.S. Open once. He led the PGA Tour in wins six years, in money five years, in scoring three years. He was PGA Tour Player of the Year six times.
During those years, Watson was an aggressive putter, fabulous chipper and unsurpassed from tee to green.
His final PGA Tour victory came in 1998. In 1999, he began playing on the Champions Tour. Watson was Player of the Year in 2003, but the year also was marked by sadness: his longtime caddie, Bruce Edwards, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease. Watson co-founded an organization, Driving 4 Life, to fight ALS. He donated $1 million to the foundation, and during 2003 alone Watson helped raise nearly $3 million for ALS-related causes and other charities.
In 2007, Watson won his third British Senior Open. And in 2009, Watson, nearly 60 years old, gave golf fans a thrill when he held or shared the lead in the British Open after the second and third rounds and nearly all the final round. He reached the 72nd-hole tee with a 1-stroke lead, but bogied and then lost to Stewart Cink in a four-hole playoff. Had Watson pulled off the victory, he would have been, by far, the oldest major championship winner ever.
Tom Watson was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988.
Watson has authored or been featured in several instructional books and DVDs, most recently the book The Timeless Swing (read review) and the DVD Lessons of a Lifetime (read review). He also has a golf course design business.