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Watson, Caddie Look to Future

June 16, 2003|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. — As they walked up the 18th fairway at the U.S. Open, Bruce Edwards and Tom Watson talked about coming back next year at Shinnecock Hills. To do that, Watson would have to win the Senior Open. Edwards, who has ALS, has to stay healthy.

Edwards won't be with Watson next month for the British Open. Watson says cold weather makes his caddie's hands cramp.

"There's more important things than playing golf for a living," Watson said Sunday. "When you have a life on the line, when your friend's life's on the line, strangers who have lives on the line with this terrible disease."

Watson finished his 30th U.S. Open with a two-over-par 72 and ended his four-day emotional roller coaster at four-over 284. Only three days before, Watson enjoyed what he called "a magical moment" when he shot a 65 and shared both the first-round Open lead and a heart-warming experience with Edwards, his caddie for nearly three decades.

It was good to deliver a message about ALS, said Watson. If he was able to raise public awareness about the disease, it was a winning week.

Edwards said he tried to soak in the entire scene as he walked with Watson to the 18th green at Olympia Fields.

"I was grateful, looking around, not, 'Oh, woe is me,' " he said. "I'm dealing with the fact that I've got what I've got, now it's time to move on and we're going to focus our attention on research, on dollars for research to try and find a cure.

"Eventually, it kills you. There are no ifs, and or buts. Unless you are really, really lucky, it kills you.

"If I use this podium properly, a lot of people can be saved, even if I am not."

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