Tom Watson, man in full

Tom Watson’s admirers risk becoming hagiographers after his thrilling performance at the British Open.

Kevin Kietzman opened his show on WHB 810 yesterday by recasting the golfer’s slump, which began in the mid 1980s, as a desire to spend time with family. “He said, ‘I’m having kids. I’m staying home. I’m not playing as much. I’m not gonna to do this,'” Kietzman said of Watson.

Part of Kietzman’s appeal is his love of Kansas City, so he can be forgiven for trying to re-imagine the town’s greatest athlete at his kids’ soccer practices and not finishing 36th at the 1985 Hawaiian Open, as Watson did. (A shaky putter — not familial obligations — was mostly to blame for Watson’s fall from golf superstardom.)

For a more complete picture of Watson’s life — which is no less interesting than the saintliness Kietzman tried to portray — fans should look to the writings of Michael Bamberger.

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