CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) — Tom Watson is using the disappointment of missing the cut at St. Andrews as motivation in his preparation for the British Seniors Open.
The veteran failed to play the weekend on his last appearance at the British Open after shooting 73 and 75 in his opening two rounds.
The British Seniors Open begins at Carnoustie on Thursday and the competition will be strong – 13 players in the field have a total of 22 major titles.
The blow to his pride overshadowed many private celebrations last weekend, including being presented with a Doctorate of Law at St. Andrews University along with Arnold Palmer.
“It’s just always a disappointment when you are putting your game to the test and you don’t make the last 36 holes,” he said. “It still eats me. But I was fooled on the golf course with the way the wind blew.”
Watson won the Senior British Open in 2005 for the first time when he beat Ireland’s Des Smyth in a playoff.
Among his fellow Americans who have made the trip to Scotland’s Angus coastline are Tom Lehman, who finished 14th at St. Andrews, and Mark Calcavecchia, who was second behind eventual winner Louis Oosthuizen at the end of the second round on Friday.
The 60-year-old Watson hopes to put on a better show this week.
“I still play for competition. I like to compete and beat people,” Watson said. “That’s what I like to do. It just so happens that I do it with sticks and balls, and I hope I can do it again this week here in Carnoustie.”
United States Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin is also making an appearance, two months ahead of the match against Europe at Celtic Manor, Wales.
With wife Lisa working hard on many of his team’s arrangements for the Ryder Cup, Pavin said he could still take time off to concentrate on his golf. Pavin was looking forward to playing Carnoustie again in more benign conditions than when he last visited the course – in 1999 for the British Open.
“All I remember from that is the heavy rough,” he said. “I don’t think they had any fairways then. If they had, I didn’t find them.”