Reason number 1,000,000 why the lore of Sawgrass is every bit as storied as any major venue.
Noone who saw Tom Watson chip in at the 17th at Pebble Beach to edge Jack Nicklaus and win the U.S. Open will ever forget it. The next year, in an effort to capitalize on the shot’s legend, the U.S.G.A. asked Watson to reenact the shot, but at 17 at Sawgrass. With the TV crew seemingly in place, Watson said his lines, some gibberish about practice makes perfect, and then promptly chipped in. After U.S.G.A. officials got done cheering, they asked the cameraman to show them the replay. Speaking as though this were some shoot for soap detergent, the cameraman said without a hint of regret “No, I thought it was a run through.”
With the look of an angry rhinoceros, the USGA asked Watson to try again and resigned themselves to along day as the chip was exceptionally difficult, even for touring pros.
Watson shrugged, said his line and chipped in again on the next try.