Watson named tops on Senior Tour

Dec. 7, 2003 at 6:10 PM
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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla., Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Tom Watson was named Champions Tour Player of the Year on Sunday, although he may just share the award.

The Hall of Famer following a solid PGA Tour career was chosen for the first time on the elder circuit from a list of finalists that included Craig Stadler, Jim Thorpe, Bruce Lietzke, and Hale Irwin.

"As great as Tom's achievements were on the golf course, he outdid himself off it, displaying dedication and compassion for a very good friend who happens to be his caddie," said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. "He is a shining example of what is truly good about our sport."

Watson's peers were most impressed with his season, which included two victories and two runners-up finishes in majors. He finished first or second in half his 14 Champions Tour starts.

His greatest achievement was the grace, dignity, and support he lent long-time friend and caddie Bruce Edwards, who was diagnosed with ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, in January.

Watson won the Arnold Palmer Award as leading money-winner and the Byron Nelson Award as scoring leader. He earned $1.85 million.

Stadler won a tour-best three titles but settled for Rookie of the Year honors. Don Pooley was named Comeback Player of the Year after recovering from shoulder surgery.

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