World Golf Hall of Fame member Tom Watson delivered an unforgettable address to an audience of more than 400 that included Championship participants, parents, volunteers and Fort Wayne residents Monday at the 36th Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour and Heritage F.S.E.
Watson’s words were directed to the 156 junior golfers in attendance, who will battle for a national title in the girls’ and boys’ divisions beginning Tuesday at Sycamore Hills Golf Club.
2011 JUNIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
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“There are not only triumphs in the game but disappointments. It’s how you deal,” said Watson, winner of eight major championships and two Senior PGA Championships. “I dealt with my disappointments by hating it and working harder at the things I knew I need to work at.
“This goes with anything you do in life,” he explained. “How you deal with those things really define you as a person.”
Among other notable accomplishments, Watson was a six-time PGA Player of the Year, won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average three times, was a member of four United States Ryder Cup Teams and captained the victorious 1993 U.S. squad.
Watson's message to the players was simple: stay dedicated, stay determined, and keep the desire.
“I had a belief that old age and treachery can sometimes beat youth and skill,” said Watson. “No matter your age you can compete. Even when a tournament is over, learn, and don’t ever give up. Ever.”
Watson also took questions from the audience. They included his favorite golf course, favorite championship and what he did to battle pressure.
“With pressure, you have to slow down, relax and take the pressure head on,” said Watson. “You have to jump in the ocean of pressure.”
Watson’s appearance kicked off what will be an exciting week of Championship golf.
The Championship is being held for a second consecutive year at renowned Sycamore Hills Golf Club in and will be free and open to the public.
This year's field includes past winners of the Championship, PGA Junior Series event champions, PGA Section winners, many of Polo Golf and Golfweek's top-ranked players, and selected national junior tournament winners.
Golf Channel will present a one-hour highlight show of the 36th Junior PGA Championship, with the first airing on Thurs., Sept. 8 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
You can follow all the action at PGA.com.
Begun in 1976, the Junior PGA Championship has traditionally produced unforgettable golf performances and brings together the best junior golfers from around the country to compete for the Jack Nicklaus Trophy in the Boys' division and the Patty Berg Trophy in the Girls' division.
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