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PGA Tour Confidential: Tiger's missed putt, Bubba's potential, Dyson's penalty and America's best golf city

Tom Watson
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Tom Watson came within a putt of winning the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry -- at age 59.

5. Everybody's favorite, Miguel Angel Jimenez, captured the Hong Kong Open this week at age 49 for his 20th European Tour win. What's the most impressive feat by an elder statesman (let's say 45 years and up, with bonus points for anything achieved beyond 50) in professional golf history?   

SENS: First of all, who said he's "everybody's favorite"? No self-respecting man should wear his hair in a ponytail. Terrible example for today's impressionable youth. As for other fogies, how about the ponytail-less Hale Irwin winning the '90 U.S. Open at age 45? Tom Watson, at 59, coming THIS close at the British was up there, too.

PASSOV: I love "the Mechanic," but I'll go with Tom Watson's whisker-margin miss of winning the 2009 Open at age 59 as the most impressive old-timer's feat, followed by Jack Nicklaus' 1986 Masters win at age 46. Sam Snead's beating his age at a PGA Tour event, shooting 66 at Quad Cities one year, at age 67 is pretty great, too.

VAN SICKLE: One of my nominees would be Nicklaus making a run at the '98 Masters at age 58 with a bad hip that had him limping around the course. He had a birdie putt Sunday at 16 to possibly get within one of the lead. He missed, tied for sixth, four behind Mark O'Meara. Another would be Sam Snead shooting his age, 67, in the second round of the '79 PGA Championship at Inverness. And Ben Hogan's bid at the 1960 U.S. Open that came up short.

RITTER: I think it's still Tom Watson at Turnberry in 2009. Sure, he came up one stroke short, but it stands as golf's ultimate senior moment.

LYNCH: It's hard to top Tom Watson being one putt away from winning the 2009 Open a few weeks before his 60th birthday.

BAMBERGER: Oh, no question: Watson at 59 at Turnberry. He won.

SHIPNUCK: Jack Nicklaus reaching the eighth tee only two shots off the lead during the final round of the 1998 Masters at age 58. That's the most electricity I've ever felt on a golf course, including Watson's run at the Open.

GODICH: I'll take Jack at the 1986 Masters.

6. What the best golf city in America? What about the rest of the world?

VAN SICKLE: The best golf city in America is the Chicago-land area. Tons of courses, dozens of tremendous private clubs. An old Western Open joke used to be that the entire PGA Tour schedule could be held in greater Chicago at a different course every week, because there are that many quality tracks. It's not much of a stretch.

BAMBERGER: I borrow here from Crenshaw, Trent Jones Sr. and Herb Wind: the three great American golf cities are New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. For depth, I think my town (Philadelphia) wins in a match of cards over New York, but I know less about Chicago. The greatest golf city in the world is St. Andrews. Put it on your bucket list. You won't come back the same and you might not come back at all.

RITTER: Is Pebble Beach a city? Almost positive it has it's own ZIP code. I tend to defer to Travelin’ Joe on questions like these, but the worldwide No. 1 has to be St. Andrews, right?

PASSOV: Phoenix/Scottsdale tops America for best golf city in America: 365 days of golf per year (admittedly, it's a little toasty from May through September), vibrant Tour player presence, loads of top instructors and by far the best-attended golf tournament in the world elevate the Valley of the Sun. The rest of the world? Has to be St. Andrews, Scotland, with Melbourne, Australia, a clear but distant second. No other burgh in the business eats, sleeps and breathes golf like St. Andrews. 

SHIPNUCK: Pebble Beach, Calif., or Southampton, N.Y. Worldwide, it's gotta be Melbourne, Australia.

SENS: Domestically, it doesn't have the best courses. Far from it. But for the combination of accessibility and affordability (both of which the industry could use more of), with a smattering of pretty decent quality thrown in, how can you beat Myrtle Beach?

LYNCH: Bandon, Ore., gets my vote. Worldwide, it's a toss-up between Melbourne and St. Andrews.

GODICH: Whichever town I'm lucky enough to be teeing it up in, replied the editor as he watched the snow falling outside the family-room window.

The PGA Tour Confidential debate continues Monday on our new weekly show hosted by Jessica Marksbury. Tweet her your questions @Jess_Marksbury.

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