It's possible Sunday will be Tom Watson's final round in a U.S. Open. At 60, Watson -- who won the tournament right here at Pebble Beach Golf Links in 1982 -- received a special exemption to play in this year's event, based largely on the strength of his performance in recent major championships, particularly last year's British Open, which he nearly won.
"Obviously, right now, I can't hit the ball nearly as long or as far as necessary to win on a lot of golf courses out with the kids," Watson said. "But there are just a few that I can still get around with them."
Pebble Beach might be one of them. After opening with a disappointing 78, Watson shot rounds of 71 and 70 in the second and third rounds, respectively, to stand at a respectable 6 over for the tournament. His round Saturday included four birdies.
"The putter started working today," he said, "unlike the first day, where it didn't work at all."
Watson's first Open came in 1972 at Pebble Beach, and he is the only player to appear in all five Opens staged here. This is his 31st appearance in the Open, but his first since 2003. Watson knows it will only get tougher today.
"The greens are going to be tougher. The backs of those turtles get higher and higher," Watson said. "And the winds will come up and it will dry out the lower parts of these greens, and the higher parts will rise up and you'll have -- it will get more bumpy. It's always been the case here."
He is planning on playing the British Open at St. Andrews, and he said he would play in a future U.S. Open if he qualified by winning the U.S. Senior Open.
Saturday, when he finished his round with a par on 18, he received an ovation from the galleries, which were clearly happy to have him back.