. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ohio Win Ends Spell For Watson

DUBLIN, Ohio -- The long title drought is finally over for Tom Watson.


He said it felt like winning for the first time, but it looked like an echo of his 37 past victories when Watson rammed home a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to claim the Memorial Tournament title Sunday and end golf's most famous dry spell.


"God, it feels good. It feels so good to win again," said Watson, whose last victory at the 1987 Nabisco Championship was nine years and 140 tournaments ago.


Watson shot a final-round 70 at Muirfield Village to win the $1.8 million Memorial with a 14-under-par 274 total, two strokes better than David Duval, who picked up five strokes in his last five holes to finish with a 67. Tournament host Jack Nicklaus, who designed the Muirfield course, called Watson's victory "the most thrilling win in golf in the last 10 years."


"From my win in the 1986 Masters to now, I haven't been happier for anyone. It was pretty exciting," Nicklaus said.


Watson made it an exciting tournament after beginning the day with the one-shot lead for his first 54-hole lead since winning the Nabisco nine years ago.


He bogeyed the first hole with the kind of miss on a short, three-foot putt that has unfortunately characterized much of his play over the past several years.


Watson birdied the 10th from 12 feet, while all around challengers were dropping back, many falling prey to Muirfield's numerous water hazards.


Duval birdied the 14th, eagled 15, and birdied the 16th hole, while Watson bogeyed the 15th after a driving into the woods and two-putting his five footer for par to drop to 13-under, just two shots in front.


Duval then hit a 6-iron approach to 18 just eight feet from the cup and drained the putt to bring Watson's lead down to a single stroke.


The favorite of the galleries and fellow players alike, Watson walked up the 18th to an enormous ovation.