Tom Watson’s wife, Hilary Watson, dies after battle with cancer

November 29, 2019
Tom and Hilary Watson at the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Hilary Watson, the wife of golf legend and eight-time major champ Tom Watson, died on Wednesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. The news was shared via social media by several golf organizations, including the PGA Champions Tour and The R&A. Watson’s agent, Barry Hyde, confirmed the death to Golfweek.

Hilary Watson was 63.

According to the Kansas City Star, Hilary and Tom Watson were told of Hilary’s diagnosis in 2017. She had surgery and other various treatments at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in May 2018. In a 2018 interview with the Star, Hilary Watson said Tom and her friends and family made her cancer battle “a lot easier to go through.” Tom Watson added: “I’m just here to help her.”

On July 27, Tom Watson, a five-time Open champion, made an announcement at the Senior British Open that it would be his last. “And along those lines, I’m also going to hang up the spikes in the U.S. Senior Open,” he said.

“I’ve had a good career playing professional golf all these years,” he continued. “I’ve run across so many fine people who have helped me and supported me. First of all, my wife who is battling cancer now. It’s going to give me some time to go out and compete with her.”

Tom and Hilary Watson married in 1999 and lived on a farm outside of Kansas City. Hilary had a love for cutting horses, and Tom picked up on it as well. It became a passion they shared.

“I think many of you know what my real passion is right now, it’s not particularly playing golf; it’s competing on the back of a horse,” Tom Watson said at the Senior British Open.

A memorial service is scheduled for Dec. 4 at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Children’s Bereavement Camp of Crossroads Hospice Kansas or to United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.