The epic eight-time major champion golfer and the ex-CBS executive married in July, ahead of the 150th open championship at St. Andrews but his wife Wade announced that the relationship was interrupted by an unexpected illness that she contracted.
Tom Watson and Leslie Anne Wade Divorced
“Over the past few months, I have been stuck on a challenging road through an unexpected illness,” Wade tweeted earlier this week. “Tom has been supportive enough, ensuring that I have the best possible care. I am beyond grateful to him and I will make a complete recovery.”
As per her words, it has been clear that the “inability to launch and build” relationship on the heels of the sudden ailment was the grounds behind the major decision.
She continued, “Woefully, the inability to launch and build our bond in these (past few) days forces us to dissolve our marriage. He will forever mean the world to me,” and she concluded by saying, “Our connection is forever.”
Following Wade’s thread, Watson retweeted and confirmed the termination. Wade was Watson’s third wife. From 1972 to 1997, Tom Watson was married to Linda Rubin. After the divorce, he got married again and the second marriage lasted until 2019 when his second wife Hilary Watson died of pancreatic cancer.
At the time of her death, Watson said, “The void she had left behind would be filled by memories which will remain intact on our souls which we will never forget. She said she was dying to live and not vice versa throughout her entire ordeal with cancer.”
“She’s my hero,” he said.
As for Watson and Wade, they were engaged in May and married in July. The two met 15 years ago and their bond slowly transferred into a romantic connection. Wade was formerly SVP of communications at CBS Sports and she is the CEO of a gold PR firm, White Tee Partners.
Back ago, Wade was involved in a long personal and professional relationship with the gold legend Nick Faldo, who retired from CBS in 2022.
In the 1970s and 80s, Watson was a big name as he was one of the leading golf players in the world. He had bagged eight major championships including five Open Championships, one US Open title, and two Masters titles. According to McCormack’s World Golf Rankings Tom Watson was the number one player in the world. In 1983 and 1984, he came second to Seve Ballesteros.
In his last 50s, Watson proved his longevity by leading the second and third rounds of the Open Championship in 2009. It was 26 years later his last major championship victory. However, Watson lost in the four-hole playoff after missing an 8-foot putt to Stewart Clink.
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Several of Watson’s victories were the result of his famous rivalry with Jack Nicklaus, the golf he replaced as number one. Though the vengeance was intense, their friendly competitiveness elevated golf’s popularity in its entirety.
Although Watson owned eight of the major championships, he failed to be a member of the elite team golfing, which includes Gary Player, Tiger Woods, Gene Sarazen, Jack Nicklaus, and Ben Hogan. It became impossible because he couldn’t win a PGA Championship.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Watson was introduced to the world of games by his father, Ray. he was an efficient player on his high school team at the Pembroke Country Day School and there he won four Missouri State Amateur Championships in the years 1967, 1968, 1970 and 1971. Later he joined Stanford University and graduated with a degree in psychology in 1971. He was initially a member of the Kansas City Country Club but later realized that many leaders of the club unanimously rejected the applicant because of his Jewish faith. At the time, he was married to a Jewish woman and he had two Jewish children and so he stated:
“It was a personal decision. I just felt like my family wasn’t welcome. it was high time to say ‘Hey, let’s be fair to everyone and not judge on the basis of faith or race.” However, the aforesaid Jewish applicant Henry W. Bloch, the founder of H&R Block, was eventually admitted to the club, leading Watson to rejoin.
In Watson’s first presidential election, Walton voted for George McGovern but ended up becoming a Republican.