tom watson

Tom Watson missed shooting his age by one shot on Sunday at Harbor Shores.

Tom Watson turns in another vintage showing as he finishes second with final-round 65

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Tom Watson may not have won the 75th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid on Sunday, but man did he make it fun to watch. 

Watson, 64 years young, managed a 6-under 65 in the final round at Harbor Shores to finish at 9-under 275, good for second place, four shots behind winner Colin Montgomerie.

Watson's round included birdies on four of the five par 3s, and his birdie on the 197-yard, par-3 12th hole was one of only two on the day.

"I was really happy about those four 2s," said Watson, a two-time Senior PGA Champion. "But I'm really upset that I didn't make the last putt, because I would have shot my age. It was one of the best rounds from tee to green that I’ve played in years. It was really, really good. The putter felt like a snake in my hands. I missed a lot of short putts today. It could have been a much better round of golf, scoring round of golf. But I missed three or four really short putts that could have gone in for birdies."

Talk about a fierce competitor – Watson shoots a 65 and wonders what could have been if only a few more putts had dropped. But that's just how good the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain was on Sunday. He hit 12 of 13 fairways and 17 of 18 greens. 

"And damn it, I missed that 17th green by three inches," said Watson, who finished in the top three of a senior major for the 17th time in his career. "I don't think I’ve ever hit 18 greens in regulation out here. And when that thing kicked off that slope I said, 'slow down, stay on the green.' 

"When I walked up I was like, well, every time I looked up today the ball was going at the hole with the irons, and it was solid and it was just a fun day to play golf from tee to green," he added. "When I got on the greens it was a different story, but 65 is a darn good score on this golf course. It wasn't good enough to beat Colin, though."

PHOTO GALLERY: Relive Colin Montgomerie's victory in our special champion's gallery

Though Montgomerie never looked in danger of slipping back – he also shot a final-round 65 – Watson gave the Scot plenty to think about.

Beginning on the par-5 10th hole, Watson made four birdies in five holes to get to 9 under for the tournament. The run came to a screeching halt at the par-5 15th hole, when Watson's birdie try from four feet lipped out. Seconds later, Montgomerie birdied the 12th hole for a two-shot lead and never looked back.

"Yeah, that was the roadblock right there," said Watson of the missed birdie at No. 15. "I needed to make 4 there to keep the pressure on. I hit a 4-iron, I had 197 yards to carry the water. That was basically the only thing I was trying to do was just carry the water there. And then I missed the short putt."

Since being named U.S. Ryder Cup Captain in December of 2012, Watson has been asked several times if he's worried about not being able to relate to his potential players because of the significant difference in age. Over the last several years, U.S. captains have been contemporaries of their players – Davis Love III, Corey Pavin, Paul Azinger to an extent and Tom Lehman, to name a few.

Many of the U.S. players who will be at Gleneagles in September have never played with Watson. His rebuttal has always been: the age difference doesn't matter, because they all speak golf.

PHOTO GALLERY: See all the best shots from Sunday's action at Harbor Shores

If Watson himself were a potential U.S. Ryder Cup player and saw what his 64-year-old captain did on Sunday, what would he think?

"Who is that guy?" Watson laughed. "He's not supposed to be doing that. That's what they said in 2009 at the British Open. They said, who is this guy? Who does he think he is? I scared them. I scared them."

The greatest champions in any sport can't acknowledge a fault. Watson is no different. 

When asked about his longevity in the game and if he ever imagined he'd be still be able to compete at age 64 after fighting the yips in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Watson was quick to snap back.

"Well, I wasn't struggling with the yips, but I was struggling with my golf swing," he said. "In 1994 I made a change to my golf swing and it made the golf swing easy. It made my swing easy. I learned how to play for the first time in my life. Then things after that, it was easy. Tee to green was easy. 

"The putting wasn't very good, but I stuck a couple victories in there late in my career – 46 years old at the Memorial and 48 at the Colonial. And I won a few times out here, won three Senior British Opens, two Senior PGAs, those are pretty special."

And even though he didn't win on Sunday, this was still pretty special, too.  

VIDEO: Watch highlights of Tom Watson's final-round 65 at Harbor Shores: