WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS - With the departure of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, many here have scrambled to find their favorite heading into the final round of the Greenbrier Classic golf tournament.
There's leader Webb Simpson, a fine choice. There are those right behind him - Troy Kelly, Ken Duke, J.B. Holmes and Charlie Beljan - who are making names for themselves.
Personally, though, I have a favorite. And I'm surprised he hasn't become the fan favorite.
He's 62. The last time he made the cut in a regular PGA Tour event - not a major - was the 2007 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. And he was inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988.
He is, of course, Tom Watson. With Woods gone, Watson is the only connection in the field to the Greenbrier's adopted son, the late Sam Snead. And it is a strong connection. They are the resort's only golf emeriti. They are the only two to post top-20 finishes in at least one major in five different decades.
On Saturday, Watson played in the real-feel 100-degree heat. He is minus-1. He's standing tall.
"I'm in OK shape," he smiled afterward. "I didn't play very well today. I hit a lot of sketchy iron shots. Didn't hit them as crisply as I did [Friday]. I didn't drive the ball too badly, but I just kind of left it out there with the irons."
The point is, he's still leaving it out there.
"It's nice playing against the kids," Watson said. "I call them the kids. They really are the kids."
It's a joy to watch Watson, one of the most complete players of all time. It's a joy to watch the way he surveys a putt from front to back, hiking his left pant leg up before kneeling to eye it. It's a joy to watch the way he still has coil left in the strike of his drives. (He's averaging 310.5 yards per drive in the tournament.)
And there's the gentlemanly way Watson goes about his business. There's a Ben Hogan feel to him.
Here's the secret though: Watson still has a burning competitive spirit.
"If he played Colonial, Hilton Head and here - and not the 8,000-yard courses - Tom could still make cuts and be competitive," said Davis Love III. "He's a competitive guy ... Unbelievable. Hip, injuries and still competitive."