Reporting from Augusta, Ga. — Michael Watson snap-hooked a drive on the 13th hole at Augusta National on Sunday but didn't mind one bit. It was all part of the plan.
Tom Watson's son — and the caddie for his dad's scintillating 67 on Thursday — had girlfriend Beth Lindquist accompany him to help find his ball, which landed on a grassy area near the creek to the left of the 13th fairway.
That's where she came upon a diamond in the rough.
Michael got down on one knee, proposed, and the family celebrated that night with dinner at a French restaurant.
"It's been a wonderful week," Tom Watson said.
Michael Watson, who is 27 and works in commercial real estate, had caddied for his father only once before — at the 2008 Watson Challenge, a low-key event for pros and amateurs in Kansas City, Mo.
He carried the bag Thursday only because Watson's regular, Todd Newcomb, had injured his back.
Watson joked about Michael's pre-round pep talk.
"He said, ‘Come on, Dad, let's go out and play a good round of golf," Watson said. "He didn't say ‘for a change' — but I knew what he was thinking."
Voice of reason
Some have criticized a new Nike TV commercial featuring the voice of the deceased Earl Woods. The black-and-white spot shows a silent and serious Tiger Woods, as his father asks: "Did you learn anything?"
"I think it's very apropos," Woods said Thursday. "I think that's what my dad would say. It's amazing how he can speak to me even when he's long gone. I think any son who has lost a father who meant so much in their life, I think they would understand the spot."
Fred Couples was not attempting to make a fashion statement Thursday by wearing soft, spikeless shoes. He also went sockless.
Couples says the flatter soles are kind to his notoriously cranky back.
"I did wear some dress shoes the other night for the Champions Dinner," he said, "but they were not on very long."
Couples (66), Watson (67), Sandy Lyle (69) and Bernhard Langer (71) — those are first-round scores, not ages — are in the hunt to become the oldest player to win a major championship. Julius Boros holds that distinction, having won the 1968 PGA Championship at 48 years 4 months.