Tom Watson: Underrated by Collectors?

Tom Watson is no stranger to success on links golf courses.  He's a perennial contender and former champ at the British Senior Open.  But at age 59, his remarkable run against much younger players at Turnberry this week brings one of the game's greats back into the spotlight.

Watson won five British Open titles during his prime years on the PGA Tour, plus two Masters and one US Open.  He's never won the PGA, but on Saturday, he passed Jack Nicklaus for most times leading a major championship after 54 holes.

Collectors haven't quite jumped on the Watson bandwagon, although there has been a bit of an uptick the last couple of days on eBay.  Watson's 'rookie card', the 1981 Donruss issue, is #1 in the set and subject to some corner wear and scuffing.  Still, it can be bought for less than $20 in nice shape.  Watson autographs are usually less than $50.  He's a bit underappreciated when you consider his amazing career, one that has labeled him a stellar player still at just 2 months shy of his 60th birthday. At last check, there were fewer than 200 Tom Watson items on eBay.

Watson's last spotlight moment in a major came six years ago when he led the US Open after one round, not long before his long-time caddy and friend Bruce Edwards died of Lou Gehrig's disease.  But for those who thought that was his last hurrah, the soft-spoken Missourian can point to his scorecard this week and say 'not so fast'.