Watson Opines On Golf In China
SAN FRANCISCO | Tom Watson
and his good friend Sandy Tatum,
former president of the USGA
and a man who was instrumen-
tal in renovating Harding Park,
took over the podium in the
media center prior to the Charles
Schwab Cup Championship.
The talk turned to China, where
Watson is designing a couple
of courses that are being built.
Watson talked with a government
representative who is instrumental
in that country’s golf development.
“You know me,” Watson
said. “Sometimes I’m not shy at
expressing my opinion. I asked
him rhetorically, ‘How will the
people of China get involved with
the game? Will there be public
facilities?’ The people under (the
government representative) said,
‘No, no, these golf courses are all
built with economics in mind.’
“I made a plea with him. I
said, ‘You have to get the people
involved with the game who can’t
afford it in some way, shape,
manner or form.’ I don’t know if it
fell on deaf ears or not, but I feel
China, as it emerges into the golf
world with its propensity to try
to be the best at every sport that
they get into, golf being one of
them, it may prove very beneficial
to them have to golf come up
through the ranks.”
Tom Lehman has a real
chance to complete a distinct
career honor at season’s end. He
could be Player of the Year on all
three major U.S. tours – the PGA
Tour, the Champions Tour and
the Nationwide Tour.
Lehman was Player of the Year
on what was then the Hogan Tour
and was the PGA Tour Player of
the Year. He’s a front-runner for
this year’s Champions Tour honor.
Fred Couples is not the first
Champions Tour player to have a
as a caddie. But he did come into
the Charles Schwab Cup Champi-
onship with a two-caddie system.
His current girlfriend, Midge
Trammell, was on the bag at the
beginning of the week. But Cou-
ples had Cayce Kerr, who cad-
died for years for Fuzzy Zoeller,
warming up in the bullpen in
case the San Francisco weather
“I didn’t think we’d all want to
be out there if it was cold, raining
and 30 mph wind,” Couples said. l
Grab Schwab Loot
SAN FRANCISCO | Although he was 10th
on the Champions Tour money list coming
into the Charles Schwab Cup Champion-
ship, Jay Don Blake was on no one’s radar
to win the tournament. But after taking
TPC Harding Park apart in the middle two
rounds, Blake captured arguably the big-
gest victory of his career.
Blake, 53, won for the second time this
year – and for his Champions Tour career
– beating a group of four by two shots.
Blake, who earned $440,000 for the victory,
finished 72 holes in the 30-man field with an
8-under 276 at the par-71 course.
The other race that came down to the
final day on the Champions Tour was for
the Charles Schwab Cup, a year-long points
competition for which the winner receives a
$1 million annuity. It went to Tom Lehman,
who came into the final event of the year in
the lead and survived a last-minute scare by
Mark Calcavecchia to win the Schwab Cup.
68-66 on Friday and Saturday to take a two-
shot lead going into the final round. On a
chilly, breezy, damp day, Harding Park was
a difficult test with the low round of Sunday
being 3-under 68s by Fred Couples and
Since no one was making a real run at
Blake, he built a four-shot cushion and sur-
vived two late bogeys to take the title. Blake
finished the day with an even-par 71.
Lehman finished tied for 18th in the
tournament, which meant that Calcavecchia
needed to finish no worse than a two-way
tie for second to overtake Lehman. Instead,
he finished in a four-way tie for second, giv-
ing Lehman the Cup by a scant 74 points.
Calcavecchia was at 6-under 278 along
with hometown favorite Michael Allen, Jay
Haas and Loren Roberts, who shot the low
round of the tournament, a 6-under 65 on
Blake, who won the Songdo IBD Champi-
onship in Korea earlier in the year, previ-
ously had not won anywhere since the 1991
Shearson Lehman Classic in San Diego on
the PGA Tour. He had a chance for another
win, losing a playoff to John Cook at the
Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am.
Haas and Couples opened the tourna-
ment with 68s to take the first-round lead.
But Allen put together two rounds of 69 to
take the lead at the halfway point at 4 under.
Couples was one shot back after a Friday
71. But two double-bogeys on the back nine
in the third round added up to 74 for
Couples and put him out of contention.
Blake began the week with an even-par
71 on Thursday but put together rounds of