Kansas City golf legend and native son Tom Watson tees it up today in his 42nd year on the professional tour in the season-opening event on the Champions Tour, the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, being held in Kaupulehu-Kona on the Big Island in Hawaii.
The 62-year-old Watson began his pro golfing career in 1971, his first year on the PGA Tour. This will be his 14th year on the Champions Tour (formerly known as the over-50 Seniors Tour). He has 14 wins and 89 top-ten finishes on the Champions Tour, competing with his professional contemporaries. For his career, Watson the lifelong Kansas city-area resident has won 39 PGA tournaments and has 219 top-ten finishes in 601 events on both the Champions and PGA tours. He has nearly $11 million in career winnings.
Watson will be in the 41-player field for the Mitsubishi Electric Championship today through Sunday. The field includes such notable golf names from the past as Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Nick Price, Curtis Strange and Lanny Wadkins.
Last season, Watson won the Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., and he also played in The Masters, the U.S. Open and the Open Championship (formerly the British Open). The lifelong Kansas City-area resident failed to make the cut in the two majors held in the U.S., but did play into the weekend at the Open Championship, finishing in a tie for 22nd place.
No matter how long he has played on the professional tour, he still harbors a strong competitive spirit and plays to win, Watson says. "Obviously it never ceases to be enjoyable winning a golf tournament," he says.
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