Watson has “ugly” round but wins many new fans

Watson may have had two 6-over rounds but there is no doubt who has been a star of the 2012 Aussie Open

TOM WATSON has had another “ugly” round at the 2012 Emirates Australian Open but there is no doubt his presence has delighted thousands of local golf fans.

The 63 year old American carded a 6-over 78 on Saturday which puts him at 8-under and, barring a miracle, rules him out of contention at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney.

Watson flew directly to Australia earlier in the week from a tournament in South Africa and it is obvious jet lag and a lack of sleep is beginning to tell.

The 1984 Stonehaven Cup winner shot what he said was an “embarrassing” 78 on Thursday but bounced back on Friday with a 4-under 68.

“It was ugly out there for me today, very ugly,” the eight time Major winner said. “I struggled on the practice area warming up and didn’t have any feel for the club. I didn’t put the clubface on the ball. As Don January said, “I never laid a glove on it the whole day’”.

Watson’s day started badly and didn’t improve.

“I hit some awful shots, I just had no feel for the club. The epitome of the day I hit what I thought was a perfect nine iron on the fifth hole, I guess it was, and it came up short by 10 yards. You don’t miss your distances by that much. I struggled all day.”

Watson only managed a few hours sleep on Thursday night and again had the same problem on Friday night.

“I’m not blaming anything but I woke up at 3am this morning and

couldn’t go back to sleep,” he said. “I’m jet lagged pretty good coming from South Africa. I’m in good physical health I’m just a little tired.”

Watson agreed that one of problems of getting older was maintaining day to day consistency with his golf swing.

Watson takes a break while waiting to hit off on the 14th tee. He birdied 13 but put his second shot on the par five 14 into the water

“The thing I used to pride myself on was how solidly I hit the golf ball and I rarely had days where I would mishit many shots. Maybe a handful of shots …everything was off the clubface, but today I don’t think I hit one solid shot, apart from that nine iron, and that was it. Everything was kind of a brush across. It was ugly. I kind of have to go back to the drawing board and see what I think was wrong with my swing.”

“I’ll get to the practice tee tomorrow and work on my rhythm probably, which is the most important thing, just get some rhythm and get a nice big shoulder turn because I think I was getting fast and upright today, that’s what causes bad shots for me.”

Despite the obvious tiredness, Watson continued with the affable and accommodating attitude that his typified his visit and won him even more admirers, signing every hat, program, autograph book and shoulder proffered to him by golf fans young and old.

Watson signs autographs for golf fans after his round

With his early start Saturday, one thing he wasn’t going to do was spend the afternoon on the practice fairway.

“No, I’m going to go and take a three hour nap,” he said.

2012 Emirates Australian Open Leaderboard

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