Watson: Golf all about having the right weight

Tom Watson made bogey on the 72nd hole at Turnberry because of his weight.

In yet another example of two cultures using the same words with different meanings, Watson spoke all week during the British Open about getting his weight right. To hit the ball the right weight simply means to hit it the right distance.

Tiger Woods often talks about distance control. He is seldom heard, if ever, saying 'weight control.' Not so for Watson, a five-time Open champion (and very fit for 59), whose affection for golf in Scotland includes using the proper language in golf's home country.

On the eve of the tournament: 'With the rookies out there that haven't played this before ... the most important thing in golf has always been (to) hit the ball the right weight, hit the ball the right distance.'

On his shot to the 18th in the first round: 'I had over 200 yards and hit 7-iron. The most important thing about doing it well is hitting it the right weight. Just hitting it the right distance. Can you judge how far to hit? If you're short and long all the time, either you're not hitting the ball solidly or you don't have the feel for it.'

On his three-putt bogey from the back of the ninth green in the third round: 'I knew I had to lay off the wedge, I just couldn't lay off of it enough to get the right weight to it.'

And his 8-iron to the 18th on Sunday in regulation that went over the green: 'It was a tough day to play. It's a difficult golf course, crosswinds, getting the right weight, which I prided myself in. I just didn't do it in the last hole.'

For most Americans, it was a curious term. In Scotland, it is simply part of the golf vernacular.

John Huggan, once a top Scottish amateur who now writes for Golf World, hit a woeful putt at Gullane No. 1 the day after the British Open and said sarcastically, 'Except for the line and the weight, it was a great putt.'

After a week listening to Watson, it made perfect sense.


SINGH'S PROGRESS: Vijay Singh concedes that he came back too early from knee surgery earlier this year.

Singh played at Kapalua before having surgery to repair a torn meniscus, returning a month later for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he missed the cut. He missed the cut the next week, too, and did not record a top 10 finish until he closed with a 67 to sneak into a tie for ninth at The Players Championship.

The 46-year-old Fijian has yet to seriously contend on the back nine this year, with only three top 10s.

'I just started playing a little too soon and it kind of put me back quite a bit,' Singh said last week in a conference call. 'Instead of taking two months off, I took a month-and-a-half off, and going to the range created a lot of bad habits for my golf swing. And it took two or three months to get out of it, because every time you get out of something, you develop something new.'

Not that he's terribly concerned.

A year ago, Singh didn't win until the Bridgestone Invitational in early August, then he won the first two tournaments in the PGA Tour Playoffs to essentially wrap up the FedEx Cup.

'My golf game is coming around,' Singh said. 'I have two weeks to practice, and I can't wait to get out there and do it again.'


DIVOTS: According to the Official World Golf Ranking formula, the Texas Open had a slightly weaker field moving to May than it did when it was part of the Fall Series last year. ... U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover has not sorted out his silly-season schedule, but it will not include the World Cup or the HSBC Champions, both of them played in China. ... Teams are starting to come together for the World Cup, with Rory McIlroy-Graeme McDowell (Northern Ireland), Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher (England) and Rory Sabbatini and Richard Sterne (South Africa) among those committed. Nick Watney has agreed to play for the United States, although he hasn't announced his partner.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Of the top 10 players in career PGA Tour earnings, Kenny Perry is the only one without a major.


FINAL WORD: 'I don't know how long the FedEx Cup is going to go on for. If it's a thing that's going to be around forever, then it's probably one of the biggest successes of my career.' - Vijay Singh, who won the FedEx Cup last year.