Heavy rains over the weekend have again wreaked havoc upon the basement computer room at Catch Basin, our Kansas City headquarters. Fortunately, we didn’t repair the baseboards after the last cloudburst, so the monetary damage is slight.
No such luck for Kansas City Country Club, currently ranked No. 51 on the Top 50. Tom Watson’s home course was declared “unplayable” on Monday morning, forcing tournament officials to cancel the final round of the Watson Challenge.* The same officials then handed Watson a check for $10,000, it being the local custom to compensate winners no matter how bad the weather.** “It’s too bad we didn’t get to play 54 holes,” Watson told reporters before hopping on a plane to Monterey, Calif., for a satellite tournament at the beautiful Pebble Beach Golf Links, No. 7. “– because the more you play, the more the best players come to the top.”
* The Watson Challenge — named, I believe, for former IBM president and chairman Thomas J. Watson — is an annual 54-hole invitational tournament for professional and amateur golfers in the Kansas City area. Tom Watson, the golfer, has won it the past three years, leading locals to grudgingly accept that he may, indeed, be the best golfer in town.
** Watson shot weekend rounds of 65-69 to edge legendary Asian Tour veteran Clay Devers, of Shawnee, Ks., by a stroke.
Following the old adage, “It’s always brightest before the storm,” Sunday afternoon was so beautiful that Watson went straight from the flash interview area to the putting green for a solitary practice session. (See below.) Upon viewing this photo, our principal Heart of America course rater awarded 12 bonus points to Kansas City Country Club for “Infrastructure: Hall of Fame Golfers.”
Top 50 on TV: The U.S. Open is being played on the Pebble Beach Golf Links, No. 7. We’ll have a look at the layout on Wednesday and then ask our panel of experts to give their opinions on changes that were made in preparation for the Open. If their opinions conform to our own, we will post them here later in the week.