AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tom Watson, playing in his last round at the Masters on Friday, missed the cut and said “adios” to Augusta National as a competitor with the same flair he used to win two green jackets among his eight majors. Not surprisingly, Watson got a standing ovation from the packed gallery.
Watson shot a 6-over 78 to finish at 8 under after two days, two shots away from his goal of playing the weekend in his last tournament at Augusta National.
He was only 2 over after the first day and, with another round like that, would’ve become the oldest player to make the cut at the year’s first major. But he made three bogeys over the first five holes and only one birdie after that.
On his last competitive hole at Augusta National, Watson split the fairway with his tee shot at No. 18 and nearly made birdie there. He had just enough time to check his emotions before family members, led by his son and sometimes-caddie Michael, poured onto the green.
Watson, 66, said earlier in the week that though he’ll come back for the annual Champions Dinner, he was done struggling to make the cut and didn’t want to take a competitive slot from any other player, and so it was time to say, “Adios.”
In a quirky tribute to the late Bruce Edwards, his close pal and longtime caddie, Watson left an egg salad sandwich on the bench at No. 13.
Friday also marked the final Masters round for Ian Woosnam, the 1991 champion. He played Friday’s round in 9-over 81, failing to break 80 for the second straight day.
“I did say if I shot in the 80s, I’d call it a day,” said Woosnam, who had an opening-round 82. “It’s too much. Just going around in pain all the way around, really. You can’t expect to play well while you’re doing that.”
Woosnam, 58, said he suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, a painful inflammatory disease that can cause vertebrae to fuse together and cause people to hunch forward. He said there’s not much doctors can do, other than to treat the pain.
Walking the steep hills of Augusta National, where all but four holes have been lengthened since his victory in 1991, only makes things worse.
“It just seizes me up, and I just can’t swing as good as I properly can,” Woosnam said. “I’m in pain all the way around, so it’s time to say ‘bye-bye,’ really.”