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Original Issue

Heard on the Range

Tom Watson's 2004 season ended on Sunday with a 10th-place finish at the Constellation Energy Classic. Watson, 55, was to have arthroscopic surgery on his left hip on Oct. 5 at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, and will undergo surgery on his right shoulder later in the year. He'll spend his time off learning Spanish. "I have a lot of interaction with Spanish-speaking people in my course-design business," says Watson.... The nine top-ranked U.S. golfers, including No. 3 Tiger Woods and No. 4 Phil Mickelson, opted not to play in the Nov. 18--21 World Cup in Sevilla, Spain. The U.S will be represented by No. 22 Scott Verplank and No. 53 Bob Tway.... Hoping to shake things up after making the cut only three times in 21 starts on Tour this season, Chris Couch dyed his hair blond for the Southern Farm Bureau Classic. Couch had his second-best career finish, 10th. "I haven't had any fun all year," he said. "I figured I'd put on the rally hair." ... During a celebrity auction on Sept. 13 at the Steven A. Cox Charity Classic in Bedminster, N.J., emcee David Feherty found no takers for a customized voice-mail message by fellow CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz, so Feherty bought the message himself for $1,000.... From the Keeping Up with Whistling Straits Dept.: The 7,400-yard Lower course at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., site of the 2005 PGA Championship, has been so difficult this fall that members have been signing up in droves to instead play the club's 6,975-yard Upper course. --J.G., Farrell Evans




Couch's color job led to a season-best finish.