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"Phil, it's over" | Tom Watson on Phil Mickelson after the Ryder Cup

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

20:20 17 Jul 2020

Tom Watson was a very special guest on the Golf Weekly podcast on Off The Ball where among other things he spoke about his Ryder Cup captaincy.

At Gleneagles in 2014, Phil Mickelson was outspoken in his criticism of Tom Watson's captaincy and tactics in the press conference after Europe won. Watson told the story of what followed.

"He came up with his opinion on an answer that I really had no response to and I kept quiet at that time," recalled Tom Watson.

"Phil subsequently said to me not too many years ago, actually last year, he apologised to me for those comments.

"I said 'Phil, it's over, whatever was between us it's over," said the five time Open champion of Phil Mickelson and the incident.

When pushed on why he made no public response at the time, Watson replied: " I don't think it would have served any purpose."

The dual Masters Champion put his longevity down to his genes and one particular lightbulb moment.

"From my mom and dad they gave me great genes," said Watson. "My body has always been in good shape, I've kept myself very healthy, I haven't had too many injuries.

"In 1994 I was struggling with my game, I had been for about seven years. I had a few chances to win tournaments that I didn't win and it was just a struggle very week.

"I went to the practice tee after every round, particularly after bad practice rounds to try to find some gimmick, some swing thought that was going to help me, that was going to turn the light switch on, 'that's it!'

"And I found it. I really thought outside the box. I looked down at my divots and thought I didn't want them going to the right. I'm missing the ball to the right all the time, not hitting the ball very solidly.

"I wanted to make that divot start and go left, so I said  I have to feel like I'm hitting over the top [of the ball] with my right shoulder [up] rather than leaning back.

"When I started doing that I got more shoulder rotation around the base of my spine, it got me more level at impact. That one thought right there changed my swing forever."

That change gave Watson incredible longevity that led to him contending in Majors right into his 60s, most famously finishing second at The Open Championship in 2009.

 

The Open for the Ages

The Open For The Ages has been hailed as “the stuff that dreams are made of” by the golf commentators who will bring to life the reimagined Championship to life.

This exclusive edition of The Open features 50 years of archive footage expertly edited and woven together with modern graphics and new commentary to create a Championship contested by the greatest names in golf including Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros, Tom Watson, Sir Nick Faldo and Rory McIlroy.

A significant investment was made in technology to ensure that the programme feels cohesive and the footage from five different decades created an authentic narrative.

More than 300 pieces of archive footage has been treated digitally to adjust grading and colour balance. Hundreds of digital corrections have been made to clips including the removal of caddies and playing partners from original footage and the introduction and removal of golf balls on greens to ensure that the viewer feels what they are watching is actually happening.

Over 1,000 hours of editing time was required by the IMG Production team that worked with The R&A to produce the programme under lockdown conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The winner of The Open For The Ages has been determined by a fan vote, which registered more than 10,000 responses, and a data model developed in partnership with NTT DATA that utilises this fan vote along with player career statistics and historical data from The Open to calculate the Champion.

The Open For The Ages will be broadcast on TheOpen.com and The Open's official YouTube and Facebook channels . The R&A’s international TV broadcast partners, including Sky Sports, NBC Golf Channel in the United States of America, and TV Asahi’s Japan Golf Network, will also televise the programme.

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

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Read more about

Golf Weekly Phil Mickleson Ryder Cup The Open Tom Watson

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