Monday, July 20, 2009
Watson leaps 1,269 spots to 105th
By Bob Harig ESPN.com
TURNBERRY, Scotland -- Tom Watson did not leave Scotland on Monday with the Claret Jug, but he did make a record leap in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Watson, 59, who needed only to sink an 8-foot par putt at Turnberry's final hole on Sunday to clinch his sixth British Open title before losing to Stewart Cink in a four-hole aggregate playoff, moved to 105th in the rankings from 1,374th, a jump of 1,269 spots.
Official World Golf Ranking representatives said it is the biggest one-week jump since the rankings began in 1986.
Watson, who plays mostly on the Champions Tour, had not made the cut on the PGA Tour since tying for 19th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2007.
Since then, he had missed the cut at three straight Masters and two British Opens and had virtually no ranking points.
The ranking probably will not mean much to Watson, who would need to crack the top 50 in order to be eligible for various PGA Tour and World Golf Championship events.
But by moving to 105th, he is ahead of players such as Bo Van Pelt (138), who won the PGA Tour event in Milwaukee on Sunday, and David Duval (145th), who tied for second at the U.S. Open last month. Had he won, Watson would have moved to 45th in the world.
Watson will play in the Senior British Open this week at Sunningdale outside of London (a tournament he has won three times in addition to his five British Open titles) before competing in the U.S. Senior Open next week at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind.
The PGA of America is considering offering Watson an exemption into the PGA Championship next month at Hazeltine and has until Aug. 3 to finalize its invites. The PGA is the only major keeping Watson from having a career Grand Slam.
Cink moved up to ninth in the rankings.
Bob Harig covers golf for ESPN.com. He can be reached at BobHarig@gmail.com.