golf

Kansas City's beloved sportswriter Joe Posnanski discusses the friendship— and rivalry— of golfers Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. Plus, he shares his thoughts on some of the biggest sports headlines today, including the Kansas City Royals

Greg Echlin / KCUR

Kansas City native Tom Watson is the captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team that will be competing against the European golf team this weekend in Scotland. It’s his second go-round as the US captain, though times have changed since Watson last served as captain in 1993.

Tom Watson finished in second place at the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Michigan. It was his best finish since winning the same event in 2011.

Colin Montgomerie of Scotland won by four strokes.

Watson said he has mixed feelings about finishing second.

“You need to make the putts to win and I didn’t do it today, but I certainly had the opportunities today,” he said. “It could have been a real low round today, and so I come away with a really good feeling inside about the way I played.”

A golf rarity took place Sunday when two professionals with ties to the area won separate tournaments, and combined for more than $800,000 in prize money along the way.

Gary Woodland is a Topeka, Kan. native who played golf at KU. He won a PGA Tour event in Nevada and collected $540,000.

Earlier in the day, Tom Pernice Jr. earned more than $262,000 for a Champions Tour win among the 50-and-older pros.

With four top-5 finishes in the first five Champions Tour events Tom Pernice Jr. played this season, he said in late May he felt close to winning again.

Greg Echlin / KCUR

The PGA Tour’s web-dot-com circuit stops this week in the Kansas City area. First-round play begins Thursday at the Lions Gate course in Overland Park, Kan.

For a long time, area courses have served as the host site for golf tour events, but never a major. 

More than 34,000 fans attended Sunday’s final round of the US Senior Open at Omaha Country Club, the single largest attended sporting event in Omaha history.

It took place on a course that was built in the late 1920s. Tom Pernice, who grew up in Raytown, was impressed with the turnout.

Greg Echlin

Because of a hand injury last year, Tom Watson was unable to defend the last tournament he won, the Senior PGA Championship. But he’s healthy now and in the frame of mind to win another championship.

This year’s Senior PGA Championship takes place at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, MO.

Though Tom Watson is 63 now, he’s not ready to give in easily to age. He compares his attitude to another legendary golfer, Arnold Palmer.

"He still thinks he can do it. He goes out there and may not be able to, but he still thinks he can do it," says Watson.

Phil Inglis / Getty Images

Because of a pinched nerve in his wrist, Kansas City’s Tom Watson is sitting out this week’s Senior PGA Championship, a tournament he won a year ago. It gets underway Thursday in Benton Harbor, Mich.

Hours and hours of hitting little plastic golf balls and learning to make them twist and turn and bend and bounce in almost any direction.

That's one reason why golfer Bubba Watson was able to hit a shot Sunday that most duffers could never make — and do it to win this year's Masters Tournament.

Maybe this bipartisan thing will become a trend: As we noted, earlier today President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law flanked by Republican Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor.

And, now there's news that both President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on one thing: They both think women should be allowed to join the Augusta National Golf Club.

They're teeing off this morning in Augusta, Ga. It's the Masters, the first of the "major" tournaments for men each year.

KCUR

Kansas City, Mo. – While Missouri's state senators were playing golf on a day off at the Lake of the Ozarks, Governor Nixon was talking to them - from Claycomo. Governor Nixon was in town promoting a bill that would give Ford Motor Company tax credits for keeping its Claycomo plant open and developing new assembly lines there.

Ford has announced that the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner, Claycomo's two sales stars, will be produced elsewhere and hasn't announced any models for production at the Kansas City plant.