Every golfer has his own traditions at Augusta National during Masters week, but Tom Watson might have the most touching — not to mention tastiest — of them all.
As Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star notes, it was 10 years ago this week that Watson's longtime caddy Bruce Edwards died at age 49 because of complications from Lou Gehrig's disease. Watson was in the champions locker room getting ready for the 2004 Masters when he learned the sad news.
Watson would later say that he felt like Edwards was with him during that round of 76 on April 8, 2004 — a loop he made with Edwards' old yardage book in his pocket.
Touched by that presence, Watson paid tribute to Edwards that day with a gesture that he has often repeated in Amen Corner.
“Bruce always ate an egg salad on the 13th tee,” said Neil Oxman, Watson’s current caddy and a long-time friend of Bruce. “So Tom left an egg-salad sandwich on the 13th.”
Sure enough, Watson left an egg salad sandwich on the 13th tee during Thursday's opening round. The 64-year-old two-time Masters champion finished the day with a six-over 78.
Watson and Edwards had a successful partnership over the years and still rank as one of the most recognizable golfer-caddy duos in golf history. Edwards was on Watson's bag during his 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, a victory that included one of the most famous shots in golf history.
Tied with Jack Nicklaus for the Sunday lead, Edwards told Watson to "get it close" on a chip shot from the tall grass off the 17th green.
"Hell, I'm going to hole it!" Watson famously said in response before doing just that.
Watson won 32 PGA Tour events with Edwards caddying, but that 1982 U.S. Open was interestingly the only one of Watson's eight major wins that featured Edwards on the bag. Golfers still weren't allowed to use their own caddies at Augusta when Watson won his two green jackets in 1977 and '81 and Watson always went with a European caddy during his five British Open wins.
Edwards' life story was chronicled in "Caddy For Life," a John Feinstein bestseller that brought his brave battle to the masses. Ten years after his death, Watson's touching tribute shows he hasn't been forgotten.
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