The first major of the year on the Champions Tour left a question on people’s minds, just who is Denis Watson? The answer – Denis Watson is a major champion. Sunday on Kiwah Island’s Ocean Course, the Zimbabwean overcame a 23 year drought to find his way back to the winners circle. Up to this point, much of Watson’s career had been characterized by injury rather than golf. A myriad of wrist, elbow, and neck problems have limited the number of events Watson has been able to play. In the press conferences afterwards, Watson expressed his feelings about his victory, "It’s wonderful to be playing golf again. To get out and do what you like to do is a wonderful thing."
At the beginning of the final round, it seemed Argentina’s Eduardo Romero would be the man to beat. Going into the back nine with a two shot lead, it seemed as though Romero would cruise into the clubhouse easily. However, the tables turned on the 195 yard par-3 14th where Romero pulled his tee shot. His ball not only found the waste area, but buried so deep into the soft sand it nearly disappeared. Forced to take an unplayable lie, he would end up with double bogey. Watson on the other hand hit his tee shot within ten feet and seized his opportunity by converting his birdie putt for a one shot lead he would not relinquish for the rest of the day. Romero who played only eight holes over par the entire Championship later said, "It cost me a lot … But I played good, I was just unlucky and played bad for one hole and then I just lost the tournament by that. I’m very happy with my game. Very sad for no win this week, because I feel very strong, I feel I was playing fantastic, but the golf it’s like this. Sometimes you win, sometimes lose."
In addition to this year’s Senior PGA Championship, the Ocean Course will also host the 2012 PGA Championship. Although the conditions on the tees, fairways, and greens seemed excellent, many players commented that the waste areas left quite a bit to be desired. The lack of sand towards the bottom of the bunkers and the excessive amount in the faces remained a topic of debate throughout the field. Craig Stadler said, "They definitely need to rework these bunkers or whatever they call them around the greens. 15 and 17 are horrible by the green. It’s like hitting it out of this brick here. Just put a little sand in there, give the guys at least a chance to use their talent and hit a shot rather than just leave it in the bunker or hit it in the water." After seeing Romero’s ball plug in 14’s waste area, even champion Denis Watson said, "I felt really bad for Eduardo. He hit a pretty bad shot, but I question how they had the face of the bunkers this week. I thought that was unfair."
Despite the questionable conditioning of the bunkers, the day would belong to Denis Watson. He kept his lead on the last four holes through some tense moments. A bogey on 15 cut Watson’s lead to one after Romero pared the hole. However, on the par-5 16th after hitting his second twenty yards off the green, Denis Watson chose to use his putter from well off the green and was able to convert his birdie opportunity and seal a major as his first victory on the Champion’s Tour.
Photo: AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain
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WOTW: Viktor Hovland’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver in Khaki Green
Viktor Hovland successfully defended his Hero World Challenge title this weekend. Hovland fired a final round 69, giving him a 2 stroke win over Scottie Scheffler. After the round, Victor received his trophy from Tiger Woods and on his wrist was a green Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver.
Name: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver
Date: 2021 – Present
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Dial: Khaki Green “Méga Tapisserie”
Movement: Calibre 4308, 32 Jewels
Power Reserve: 60 Hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal
Waterproof: 300 Meters
Bracelet: Khaki Green Rubber Strap
Price: $29,000 (~$35,000)
Audemars Piguet has been making the Royal Oak Offshore line of watches since 1992 as the larger and more capable version of the iconic Royal Oak. The larger cases, bezels, and straps give the Offshore a stronger look and stand out more on the wrist. The Offshore Diver line was introduced in 2010 and was the first Audemars Piguet watch to be ISO certified.
The case on the Offshore Diver is 42mm and made from a solid block of stainless steel but it does sit tall on the wrist at around 14mm thick. The caseback on the new Offshore Diver features a large display window, made from sapphire crystal, that allows you to view the mechanical movement inside. The caseback is held in place by 8 screws and is sealed to give the Diver a 300 meter water resistance rating. On the right side of the case is the tradition screw-down crown, finished in black ceramic and ping gold, that is used to set the time and day on the watch. The second crown sits at 10 o’clock and it is used to to set the inner rotating bezel. This bezel is around the dial and can be used for timing during dives. On top of the case is the legendary octagon Royal Oak bezel that sits on a large rubber gasket and is held in place by 8 hex screws. Under the sapphire crystal is a Khaki Green dial the the Royal Oak Offshore’s Méga Tapisserie texture. Méga Tapisserie is a sequence of raised squares with a matte finish. The hour markers and hands are made from pink gold and filled with larger amounts of luminescent material for easy reading underwater. A date is located at 3 o’clock and has a magnifying cyclops lens integrated into the glass.
Inside the stainless steel armor is a self-winding mechanical movement that was designed and built in-house by Audemars Piguet in 2021. The Calibre 4308 is an upgraded movement with a date that moves to the next day instantly a new setting mechanism for added durability. The 4308 contains 234 individual parts, offers the wearer 60 hours of power reserve and features an oscillating rotor made from solid 22k pink gold. That rotor is then given a dark grey finish and perfectly hand polished.
Holding this dive watch on Viktor’s wrist is a Khaki Green rubber strap with a stainless steel pin buckle. You are able to quickly change out the strap with quick release buttons on the lugs and pin buckle. Each strap then has steel latches built into them to snap into the lugs and pin buckle. Audemars Piguet makes plenty of $600+ rubber and leather options to dress up, or down, your Offshore Diver.
These Royal Oak Offshore Divers are gaining popularity and at one time pretty easy to get your hands on. This isn’t the case currently and if you can get one at your local Audemars Piguet dealer for the $29,000 retail price, consider yourself lucky. On the secondary market you can expect to add around a $6,000 premium to that retail price.
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