MY DEAR WATSON! Locals celebrate homegrown Master

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 10:50 AM.

Emerald Coast milestone

Watson earned a tournament-record $1.62 million for the victory, his eighth as a pro and sixth on the PGA Tour. The Masters paid out a record $9 million in prize money.

Watson's victory, for other area observers, was another milestone for golf across the Emerald Coast.

"It's good for Northwest Florida," said Fort Walton Beach High golf coach John Lavin. "It says a lot about golf in the area, and it's always a good thing to see someone from here make it big."

Sean Hassett remembers playing against Watson during middle school golf tournaments when Hassett was a student at Meigs in Shalimar.

“He was driving 300 yards even back then,” Hassett said. “He’d always win it ahead of us.”

Hassett, who now lives in Columbus, Ga., said this year’s tournament wasn’t as close as the last time Watson won the Masters in 2012.

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