Tom Watson on the Watson Challenge tournament and what makes Hallbrook the toughest course in Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City’s Tom Watson is looking forward to The 2016 Watson Challenge coming up in June.

In a news conference on Friday, Watson spoke about his vision for tournament and commended Hallbrook Country Club, 11200 Overbrook, for its role in the tournament’s success.

“They created the template for the Watson Challenge. When we got together back in 2006, maybe it was 2005, we asked Hallbrook if they would be the first course where we played the Watson Challenge. It was all new. And we had meetings upon meetings upon meetings to try to work out a very good plan on how to operate this event. This event operates like a PGA Tour event. It’s that good,” Watson said.

He said the vision of The Watson Challenge is to get more people in Kansas City playing competitive golf.

“I go back to when I was just a kid, 13-years old, playing in my first KCGA event. It was a medal play. We’d played it at both Hillcrest and out at Meadowbrook and I remember playing that event. I was shooting 80 the last day, came up the last hole, I was crying, I was playing so bad and Jack House, Jack House took me around the shoulder like that and said, ‘That’s all right Tom. There will be better days.'”

Watson said in today’s life where everything is so ‘jammed packed’, it’s great to get kids out on the golf course.

“Create opportunities for kids to go out and have fun. Make it easy for them to play and learn the game and have fun at the game. You get these kids started in the game… they can quit… but they’ll always have those fundamentals that they started with when they were kids,” he said.

And about Hallbrook, where the tournament will be held June 3rd, 4th and 5th:

“I consider Hallbrook the toughest course in Kansas City. The reason I say that is you continually have challenges with penalty shots. You have a lot of hazards you have to negotiate… you play other golf courses which may have 3 or 4 hazard shots at Hallbrook you have a bunch. You have 11, 12, 13 hazard shots.”