Who: Denis Watson
What: 45-yard Texas wedge from the fairway
Where: 540-yard par-5 15th hole at Kiawah Island
When: Final round of the Senior PGA Championship
To win his first major, Watson had to ward off two decades of bad memories. Sitting 27 yards off the green, he was so nervous that had he tried to pitch his ball, he could’ve easily mishit it. So Watson, always a deep thinker, was wise enough to putt. He knew that Kiawah’s hard, seaside fairways are ideal for the Texas wedge and that his worst putt would’ve left him no more than a dozen feet from the hole. He putted it to three feet for the decisive birdie.
Under Pressure, Try The Texas Wedge
The key to a Texas wedge is to feel as if you’re hooking the ball, because doing that prevents the ball from losing momentum and bumping off-line. At address, position the ball a little forward, so you don’t hit down at impact, and stand a bit more upright. Most important, use a small pivot so the putterhead travels in an arc and goes back and through to the inside of the target line.
Mitchell Spearman teaches at Manhattan Woods Golf Club in West Nyack, N.Y.
… AND ANOTHER THING
“America is bereft of Tour stars under 30 because the U.S. college system emphasizes team results, not long-term individual improvement.”