Yesterday was yet another amazing performance by 60-year-old Tom Watson at a major championship. After nearing winning the British Open at Turnberry last year, Watson fired a career-low 67 at Augusta National yesterday and was just one shot off the lead after the first round of The Masters.
(Watson wife #2: Golfer blew out anti-Limbaugh wife #1)
The night before that unexpected performance, Watson may have also surprised some folks with his comments at the annual Golf Writers Association of America awards dinner in Augusta.
Bob Carney of GOLF DIGEST reports:
Conservative Tom Watson, who shared the Ben Hogan comeback-from-injury award with Ken Green, began by saying, “I feel like President Obama accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. He actually said, ‘I’m undeserving of this award.’ And I believed him.” (applause).
Watson for nearly two decades hasn’t been shy about communicating his politically conservative leanings. In fact, he’s made clear in the past that he’s a big Rush Limbaugh fan and counts the radio commentator as one of his personal friends.
From John Garrity of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED in a 1995 profile of Watson:
His younger brother, John Marshall, is a New York interior designer and former actor who gleefully baits his brother on visits home. “The first thing we do at the airport is get in Tom’s four-wheel-drive and argue,” says John. “Which appalls the rest of the family, but it’s fun.” Even Linda, who was Tom’s childhood sweetheart, rolls her eyes over the ideological gap in her marriage. “Yes, he does listen to Rush Limbaugh,” she says playfully. “There’s a big group of players who do, and I laugh at them all.”
Watson, if you haven’t heard, has since dumped first wife Linda for a younger bride.
I grew up in Kansas City idolizing Watson, watching him outduel Jack Nicklaus at The Masters in ‘77 as a 10-year-old. So I’ve always had a natural affinity for him. And I have no problem with him liking Limbaugh.
But with partisan politics already doing so much to hinder the progress of the U.S., is there a better time and place for Watson to mock the president than at what is supposed to be an apolitical sports function?