Tom "Watson, the new Masters champion, enjoyed a better sleep than he thought he'd have last night and immediately announced a new goal which had nothing to do with golf.
"For a long time," said Watson, a '29-year-old Kansas City native who has dominated the PGA tour this year, with winnings thus far of $175,185, "I've wanted to take flying lessions. But I had to go out and make money after graduating from Stanford, I thought of several things I wanted to do - I majored in psychology - but golf seemed the most attractive vocation and avocation for the moment.
"I couldn't afford flying lessons and the rest but I've always been crazy about airplanes and I thing it's about time I indulged myself."
Watson was asked if the Grand Slam, winning all four majors (Masters, U.S. and British Opens and the PGA Championship) was in his future plans. "Well," he grinned, "I guess I'm the only one eligible this year. It (the Grand Slam) is something that has eluded the greatest golfers of all time including Jack Nicklaus. My goal has always been to win the immediate tournament I'm playing in. With the number of talented golfers around, that isn't easy."
Watson started playing golf at 6 when his dad, a scratch player, introduced him to the game.He won the Missouri Amateur championship four times and played three years at Stanford. "But I was no big man on campus," he said. "Stanford is a very stirrulating university and there are other things than golf to occupy the curious and intelligent minds of the students."
Watson turned pro in mid-1972 and has been one of the top golfers on the tour ever since. he was labeled a "choker" when he lost two tournamets this year after leading going into the fourth round. But he took on Nicklaus and was the winner on the final two holes of the Masters Sunday.
He married the former Linda Rubin four years ago and she walks every round with him. They have no children.
Watson has won $703,404 in the six years he has been a pro. he is self-analytical and readily discusses his faults. "I gues," he says, "it's a carry-over from my college days when I specialized in group therapy."
He listens to advice. When he was awinging badly this year, before winning the Crosby and San Diego tournaments back-to-back, he visited Bryon nelson, the Hall of Fame golfer, for a lesson.
"Nelson straightened me out," Watson said. "Nobody ever gets so big that he can't take advice."