Call 1.800.966.1380 to contact Tom Watson booking agent, publicist, manager, pr firm, representative and management company if you would like to hire Tom Watson for a speaker appearance, autograph signing, endorsement deal or corporate event. Here you can find speaker fees, booking fees, costs, availability and schedule information.
Golf legend, Tom Watson, was born September 4, 1949 in Kansas City, Missouri. He is currently a golfer on the Champions Tour, while still occasionally competing in PGA Tour events. In the 1970s and 1980s Watson was one of the leading players in the world, winning eight major championships and heading the PGA Tour money list five times. He was the number one player in the world, according to McCormack's World Golf Rankings, from 1978 through 1982, and in both 1983 and 1984 was second in those rankings behind Seve Ballesteros by only the barest of margins. He spent 32 weeks in the top 10 of the successor Sony Rankings in their debut in 1986. Several of his major victories during this period came at the expense of Jack Nicklaus, the man he replaced as number one, but their continuing rivalry and friendship served to increase golf's popularity during the time. Watson is generally regarded as one of the greatest links players of all time, a claim backed up by his 5 Open Championship victories.
Tom Watson was introduced to the game by his father Ray, a fine player. His early coach was Stan Thirsk at the Kansas City Country Club. He first gained local renown while on his high school team at The Pembroke-Country Day School in Kansas City. Watson won four straight Missouri State Amateur championships, from 1968-1971. He began his professional golf career in 1971, the same year he graduated from Stanford University with a degree in psychology, and played on the golf team.
Watson joined the PGA Tour in 1971 after a very good (but not standout) amateur career, and gradually improved. He got into contention in a major championship for the first time in the 1974 U.S. Open at the Winged Foot Golf Club, where he led after three rounds, but faded badly in the final round. Following this disappointment, Watson was approached by legendary player Byron Nelson, who offered assistance. With Nelson's guidance on swing mechanics and course management, Watson's game advanced quickly, and he won his first title shortly afterwards at the 1974 Western Open.
Watson has won eight major championships on the PGA Tour—two Masters (1977 and 1981), one U.S. Open (1982), and five British Opens (1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983). His 1977 British Open victory, at Turnberry in Scotland, was especially memorable. After two rounds, he and Jack Nicklaus were one shot out of the lead and paired for the third round. Both shot 65, ending the third round three shots clear of the field. Watson and Nicklaus were again paired for the final round. On the last day, the two were tied after 16 holes. Nicklaus missed a makeable birdie putt on 17, losing his share of the lead to Watson, who birdied 17. On the 18th, Nicklaus drove into the rough, while Watson drove into the fairway. Watson's approach landed three feet from the flag, while Nicklaus, after a drive into deep rough, managed to get his approach 50 feet away. Nicklaus sank his birdie putt to finish with a 66, but Watson followed suit with his own birdie, finishing with a second straight 65 and his second Open, with a record score of 268. The two players finished well ahead of the other challengers. They shot the same score every day, except for Sunday.
Watson's U.S. Open win, in 1982 at Pebble Beach, was equally memorable. Jack Nicklaus, playing two groups ahead of Tom Watson in the final round, charged into a share of the lead with five consecutive birdies. When Watson reached the par-3 17th hole the two were still tied, but with Nicklaus safely in the clubhouse at 4 under par 284. Watson hit his tee shot on 17 into the rough just off the green. He faced an extremely difficult chip shot downhill on a very fast green that sloped toward the Pacific Ocean. While being interviewed on national television and fully aware of Watson's terrible predicament, Nicklaus appeared confident he was on his way to an unprecedented fifth U.S. Open championship. Watson's chip shot, amazingly, hit the flag stick and landed in the cup, giving him a miraculous birdie and setting the stage for yet another win over Nicklaus. Watson went on to birdie the 18th as well, for a final margin of two shots. The 17th hole chip-in is regarded as one of the greatest shots in golf history.
A memorable moment in Watson's career came at the 2003 U.S. Open, when, at age 53, he took the opening-round lead by shooting a 65 with his longtime caddy Bruce Edwards carrying his clubs. The latter would succumb to Lou Gehrig's disease on April 8, 2004 at the age of 49.
Watson's stellar play on the PGA Tour faded in the late 1980s when he began to have problems with putting although his tee to green game seemed to actually improve. In 1994 when the British Open returned to Turnberry, the site of his 1977 victory, Watson commented, "Sometimes you lose your desire through the years. Any golfer goes through that. When you play golf for a living, like anything in your life, you are never going to be constant, at the top." He finished tied for 11th at the British that year, but he had a revival in the late 1990s and the last of his 39 wins on the PGA Tour came at the 1998 MasterCard Colonial when he was forty eight years old. However, he has demonstrated remarkable consistency by making at least one PGA Tour cut per year since 1971, a streak of 37 years.
Watson also missed a two foot putt on the 18th green at the 2007 Masters. He later learned that he missed the cut by only one stroke.
Tom Watson joined the Champions Tour in 1999, the same year he earned an honorary membership of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Scotland. St. Andrews is one of the few Open venues where Watson did not claim victory. He has 12 wins on the Champions Tour, including five senior majors, while playing a relatively limited schedule of events. Watson was one of two players to play with Jack Nicklaus in the final two rounds of golf in Nicklaus' career, which ended at the 2005 The Open Championship on the Old Course at St Andrews. Englishman Luke Donald was the third member of the group.
Having resided for many years in Mission Hills, Kansas, Watson currently resides in Stilwell, Kansas with his wife, two children, and three stepchildren. He also designed the National Golf Club of Kansas City golf course.