|Full name||Denis Leslie Watson|
|Born||18 October 1955|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg; 14 st)|
|Current tour(s)||Champions Tour|
|Former tour(s)|| European Tour |
Southern Africa Tour
European Seniors Tour
|Number of wins by tour|
|PGA Tour Champions||4|
|European Senior Tour||1|
|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.
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.
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.
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||To par||Margin of|
|1||12 Aug 1984||Buick Open||70-70-63-68=271||−17||1 stroke|
|2||26 Aug 1984||NEC World Series of Golf||69-62-70-70=271||−9||2 strokes|
|3||23 Sep 1984||Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational||69-66-68-70-68=341||−15||1 stroke|
PGA Tour playoff record (0–1)
|1||1982||Bay Hill Classic||Kite won with birdie on first extra hole|
|Senior major championships (1)|
|Other Champions Tour (3)|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||To par||Margin of|
|1||27 May 2007||Senior PGA Championship||71-71-69-68=279||−9||2 strokes|
|2||26 Aug 2007||Boeing Classic||69-69-69=207||−9||Playoff|
|3||16 Mar 2008||AT&T Champions Classic||73-71-65=209||−7||Playoff|
|4||4 May 2008||FedEx Kinko's Classic||67-70-69=206||−10||1 stroke|
Champions Tour playoff record (2–0)
|1||2007||Boeing Classic||Won with eagle on second extra hole|
Eger, Morgan, Ozaki and Quigley eliminated with birdie on first hole
|2||2008||AT&T Champions Classic||Won with birdie on third extra hole|
Bryant eliminated with birdie on second hole
|The Open Championship||T41||CUT||T15||WD||T47||CUT|
|The Open Championship|
|The Open Championship|
CUT = missed the half-way cut (3rd round cut in 1980 Open Championship)
WD = withdrew
"T" = tied
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||0||0||1||6||3|
|2007||Senior PGA Championship||−9 (71-71-69-68=279)||2 strokes|
Results not in chronological order before 2012.
|Senior PGA Championship||1||T26||CUT||CUT||CUT||DQ|
|Senior Players Championship||T31||T27||72||T11||DNP||DNP|
|U.S. Senior Open||T5||T52||T52||T53||DNP||DNP|
|Senior British Open Championship||T16||DNP||T8||T41||DNP||DNP|
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.
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