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The Loop

Watson recalls watching Casper win at Harding Park

November 05, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO -- When great golfers see a great golfer do something special, they seldom forget it. Especially if they weren't yet great when they saw it.

That's the case for Tom Watson, who played Harding Park many decades before this week's Charles Schwab Cup Championship but whose most vivid memory of the course, rechristened this week as TPC Harding Park, is watching Billy Casper triumph by four strokes at the 1968 Lucky International, one of his 51 PGA Tour victories, on the old muny.

"I had the chance to follow Billy Casper at the Lucky International when he won here," said Watson, then a student at Stanford. "I was amazed how easily he won that golf tournament. He hit the ball from those sloppy fairways pin-high every hole. Every hole, he was pin high. People don't realize how good a player Casper really was compared to Nicklaus and Palmer."

-- Bill Fields