Saturday, Jun 14, 2003
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Watson brought Olympia Fields to life on Thursday with a round for the ages, a 5-under 65 that matched his best in 105 rounds at the U.S. Open and gave him a share of the first-round lead with Brett Quigley.
All it took was a 40-foot birdie putt and a few anxious moments as the ball hung on the edge of the cup at the par-3 seventh hole, teasing the 53-year-old Watson as he strolled to the hole preparing to tap in for par.
Then it fell.
Watson kicked up his left leg and raised his arms, then bowed to a delirious gallery. He followed that with a 20-foot birdie putt that rammed into the back of the cup, just like the Watson of old, and closed out his memorable day with a 6-footer for par.
Twenty years removed from the last of his eight Major championships, Watson finally made Olympia Fields seem like an U.S. Open.
``Who would have thought?'' Watson said, his gapped-tooth smile as big as ever. ``Who would have expected I would have shot a round like that today?''
Everyone figured it would have come from defending champion Tiger Woods, who tiptoed around Olympia Fields in the cool, damp morning for a pedestrian score of even-par 70. AP
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