Denis Watson

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Denis Watson
Personal information
Full nameDenis Leslie Watson
Born (1955-10-18) 18 October 1955 (age 64)
Salisbury, Rhodesia
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight190 lb (86 kg; 14 st)
NationalityFlag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe
Career
Turned professional1976
Current tour(s) Champions Tour
Former tour(s) European Tour
PGA Tour
Southern Africa Tour
European Seniors Tour
Professional wins9
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour3
Sunshine Tour2
PGA Tour Champions4
European Senior Tour1
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament T27: 1987
PGA Championship 33rd: 1984
U.S. Open T2: 1985
The Open Championship T15: 1982

Denis Leslie Watson (born 18 October 1955) is a professional golfer from Zimbabwe.

Contents

Born in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) Watson was educated at Oriel Boys High School, Chisipite. He was Rhodesian Sportsman of the Year in 1975, but went on to represent South Africa in the World Series of Golf in 1980 and 1982 – sporting connections between Rhodesia and Apartheid South Africa were blurred at the time, for example the Rhodesian cricket team was once part of the South African domestic set-up.

Watson turned professional in 1976 and played on the European Tour from 1978 to 1980. After moving to the United States, where he joined the PGA Tour, he had his career year in 1984 when he won the Buick Open, NEC World Series of Golf, and Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational to tie for the most wins on the PGA Tour that season.

Watson finished second in the 1985 U.S. Open, missing out on forcing a playoff by one shot, having incurred a two-stroke penalty earlier in the tournament. The penalty was assessed on the eighth hole in the first round, after he had waited longer than the allowed ten seconds for a putt that had hung on the lip of the hole to drop in. The ball did fall into the hole, but the birdie was disallowed and the penalty strokes added. The USGA and R&A, the sports governing bodies, have since amended the penalty for this rules infraction to just a single stroke. Andy North was eventually the only player to beat him, by one shot despite himself bogeying the last hole.

Watson's career came to a sudden halt when he was injured while playing in the 1985 Goodyear Classic in South Africa. While hitting his ball out of the rough with a 9-iron, he struck a tree stump that had been hidden from view causing damage to his wrist, elbow and neck. He went on to win the tournament, but his problems had just begun. He required surgery on his wrist and neck, and was initially told that he would never play again. He did, but was unable to consistently reach the high standard that he had previously attained and after several more operations he retired towards the end of the 1990s. [1] [2]

After turning fifty, Watson joined the Champions Tour, and began to rediscover competitive form. He won the 2007 Senior PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, a senior major, by two strokes over Argentina's Eduardo Romero, his first win in 23 years. He was voted the 2007 Champions Tour Rookie of the Year.

Professional wins (9)

PGA Tour wins (3)

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin of
victory
Runner-up
112 Aug 1984 Buick Open 70-70-63-68=271−171 stroke Flag of the United States.svg Payne Stewart
226 Aug 1984 NEC World Series of Golf 69-62-70-70=271−92 strokes Flag of the United States.svg Bruce Lietzke
323 Sep 1984 Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational 69-66-68-70-68=341−151 stroke Flag of the United States.svg Andy Bean

PGA Tour playoff record (0–1)

No.YearTournamentOpponentsResult
1 1982 Bay Hill Classic Flag of the United States.svg Tom Kite, Flag of the United States.svg Jack Nicklaus Kite won with birdie on first extra hole

Sunshine Tour wins (2)

Champions Tour wins (4)

Legend
Senior major championships (1)
Other Champions Tour (3)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
127 May 2007 Senior PGA Championship 71-71-69-68=279−92 strokes Flag of Argentina.svg Eduardo Romero
226 Aug 2007 Boeing Classic 69-69-69=207−9Playoff Flag of the United States.svg R. W. Eaks, Flag of the United States.svg David Eger,
Flag of the United States.svg Gil Morgan, Flag of Japan.svg Naomichi Ozaki,
Flag of the United States.svg Dana Quigley, Flag of the United States.svg Craig Stadler
316 Mar 2008 AT&T Champions Classic 73-71-65=209−7Playoff Flag of the United States.svg Brad Bryant, Flag of the United States.svg Loren Roberts
44 May 2008 FedEx Kinko's Classic 67-70-69=206−101 stroke Flag of the United States.svg Scott Hoch, Flag of the United States.svg Tim Simpson,
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg Nick Price

Champions Tour playoff record (2–0)

No.YearTournamentOpponentsResult
1 2007 Boeing Classic Flag of the United States.svg R. W. Eaks, Flag of the United States.svg David Eger,
Flag of the United States.svg Gil Morgan, Flag of Japan.svg Naomichi Ozaki,
Flag of the United States.svg Dana Quigley, Flag of the United States.svg Craig Stadler
Won with eagle on second extra hole
Eger, Morgan, Ozaki and Quigley eliminated with birdie on first hole
2 2008 AT&T Champions Classic Flag of the United States.svg Brad Bryant, Flag of the United States.svg Loren Roberts Won with birdie on third extra hole
Bryant eliminated with birdie on second hole

Results in major championships

Tournament19791980198119821983198419851986198719881989
Masters Tournament T53CUTT27
U.S. Open T2T12T36
The Open Championship T41CUTT15WDT47CUT
PGA Championship CUT33T4071T40T48
Tournament1990199119921993199419951996199719981999
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open WD
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
Tournament20002001200220032004200520062007
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship CUT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut (3rd round cut in 1980 Open Championship)
WD = withdrew
"T" = tied

Summary

TournamentWins2nd3rdTop-5Top-10Top-25EventsCuts made
Masters Tournament 00000032
U.S. Open 01011243
The Open Championship 00000163
PGA Championship 00000075
Totals0101132013

Champions Tour major championships

Wins (1)

YearChampionshipWinning scoreMarginRunner-up
2007 Senior PGA Championship −9 (71-71-69-68=279)2 strokes Flag of Argentina.svg Eduardo Romero

Results timeline

Results not in chronological order before 2012.

Tournament200720082009201020112012
Senior PGA Championship 1T26CUTCUTCUTDQ
The Tradition T9T52T5061T4562
Senior Players Championship T31T2772T11DNPDNP
U.S. Senior Open T5T52T52T53DNPDNP
Senior British Open Championship T16DNPT8T41DNPDNP

DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the halfway cut
DQ = Disqualified
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Team appearances

Amateur

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References

  1. "Watson living proof that perseverance pays off". PGA of America . 15 May 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  2. Shapiro, Leonard (3 July 2008). "Paying the Price". The Washington Post . Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  3. "For the Record | Golf". The Times. 22 February 1982. p. 18. Retrieved 22 April 2020 via The Times Digital Archive.