The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

July 7, 2013

Memorable week for Watson

63-year-old out of contention, but still going; Final tee times set

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — The storybook ending of a 63-year-old Tom Watson walking across the bridge to the 18th green on The Old White TPC, where he’s played so many rounds, with a chance to win a PGA TOUR tournament for the first time since 1998 isn’t going to happen. The Greenbrier’s pro emeritus, a World Golf Hall of Fame member who has won eight Major Championships, shot a 2-under 72 Saturday and is now well off the lead heading into today’s final round.

But Watson’s week, which has him 1-under for the tournament, has still certainly been a memorable one, even if his putter has kept it from being unforgettable.

“I need to get that putter working a little bit,” said the six-time PGA TOUR Player of the Year. “That putter’s kind of frustrating me right now.

“It’s not the greens, it’s my stroke. I’m not blaming the greens for anything. I’m just not getting the ball on the line or the speed that I want it to be.”

Watson, the 2014 Ryder Cup captain, has already proved everything there is to prove in the game of golf, so he’s learned to just enjoy himself, even if every stroke isn’t perfect.

“I love it here at The Greenbrier,” said Watson, who’s become somewhat of an honorary West Virginian to his fans in the area. “I’ve been coming here for about 34 years now every year, and it’s a great place to come and rest. It’s also a great place to come and play a great golf tournament, thanks to Jim Justice. What The Greenbrier’s done for the PGA TOUR here, it’s very special. The things that he provides for not only the players but the fans is extraordinary. Without a doubt, it’s the best out here on TOUR.”

n n n

From the oldest competitor in the field to the youngest, Michael Kim is another unlikely contender in the mix heading into the final day.

The 19-year-old amateur — who made The Greenbrier Classic field by virtue of winning the Haskins Award, college golf’s version of the Heisman Trophy — carded his best round of the tournament Saturday, a 3-under-par 67 that moved him to 4-under for the tournament.

Kim, who plays at the University of California, has hit 85.71 percent of fairways this week and has reached 68.52 percent of greens in regulation.

“I’m just trying not to embarrass myself, honestly, out here,” said Kim. “I’m just trying to have fun and be comfortable.

“I’m just trying not to think about the score or where I’m playing or just anything like that. (I) just focus on my ball. It’s a cliché, but it is a cliché for a reason and I just take it one shot at a time.”

Kim, though, has allowed himself to dream about what it would be like to win an event on the PGA TOUR.

“It would be unbelievable; it would be a dream come true,” he said. “It’s a dream to be out here on the PGA TOUR playing against the best, and if I’m fortunate enough to win it tomorrow, it would be awesome.”

n n n

Scott Stallings, the 2011 Greenbrier Classic champion, is in the hunt again at 6-under for the tournament after a round of 67 on Saturday, but the 28-year-old Knoxville, Tenn., native said it’s a much different course than the one he was on when he beat Bill Haas and Bob Estes in a playoff for his first PGA TOUR win two years ago.

“It was so firm when we played. I remember some of the clubs I hit in, like I hit 9-iron into 12,” said Stallings. “Today, Bubba (Watson) and I both hit 2-iron, and it’s just totally different with the fairways being soft with the rain that we’ve had.

“It’s in so much better shape than it was two years ago. The course and staff have done an incredible job getting it to where it is. It’s just gotten better every year. It’s funny how different it plays from year to year.”

n n n

The 2012 Greenbrier Classic ended with threatening skies overhead, and a thunderstorm broke loose on The Old White TPC just minutes after Ted Potter Jr. was presented with the championship trophy.

Mother Nature could again try to crash the party today. The weather.com forecast for White Sulphur Springs is calling for a chance of thunderstorms beginning at 1 p.m. and increasing throughout the afternoon.

— E-mail: chuffman@

register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041814 james monroe Crusaders make history in loss to James Monroe

    The first season for Greater Beckley Christian’s baseball team has been met with growing pains — to say the least.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Questions raised about Turnbull’s firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: Step 4 — the setup

    This just in — in a recent study on turkey hunting and turkey hunters it was found that 98.7 percent of the time when hunters were unsuccessful when calling in a gobbler, the hunter made some mistake during the last 50 yards of the bird’s approach.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 wright Former Red Devil star realizing dream of playing D-I basketball

    When former Oak Hill High School standout Kalif Wright was a kid, he would play EA Sports’ NCAA March Madness video games and dream of one day getting a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • McClung moving from mound to dugout

    Seth McClung was getting his daughters Madison and Fallon inside and ready for their baths when his phone rang. He’s said before that he enjoys the role of “daddy day care.”

    April 15, 2014

NCAA Hoops
AP Video