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Tom Watson honoured by Memorial Tournament

Eight-time major winner Tom Watson was announced as the 2012 Memorial Tournament honoree at a ceremony on Wednesday.

Not only a friend of Memorial founder Jack Nicklaus, he was also one of his fiercest opponents, indeed two of his most memorable major championship victories came in tightly fought head-to-head battles with Nicklaus.

In 1977 at Turnberry, Scotland, Watson bested Nicklaus in the famous "Duel in the Sun." The two men were paired together for the final 36 holes, and Watson edged Nicklaus by shooting 65-65 to the Golden Bear's 65-66 to win by one stroke.

Watson clipped Nicklaus yet again in the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. With Nicklaus the leader in the clubhouse, Watson perform an extraordinary feat of skill as he chipped in for birdie from ankle-high rough on the par-3 17th hole en route to his only national title.

"I thought he was in deep rough and out of the hole," Nicklaus said. "But he didn't!"

"I had a couple of lucky breaks along the way," said Watson, who won five British Opens, two Masters and one U.S. Open title. "I've been one of the luckiest people on earth to have friends on the course and outside the ropes who have enriched my life with laughter, joy and love."

The Memorial Tournament is themed each year around a person, living or dead, who has contributed to the game of golf. This was Nicklaus' idea as a contribution to perpetuating achievements of the game's greatest individuals. The honoree is selected by the Captain's Club, a group of statesmen who act independently of the tournament organization.

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