Bubba Sensing a Window of Opportunity
Six visits to The Open Championship are yet to reap even one top-20 finish for Bubba Watson, but the 36-year-old American is not letting the disappointment get to him – nor is he losing his sense of humour.
“What's your line and shape on the 17TH tee?” he was asked after practice on Tuesday.
“Depends what club I take,” he quipped. “I don't want to break a window.”
Guests of The Old Course Hotel, which famously overlooks the penultimate hole, can breathe a sigh of relief about any unexpected intrusions, but might want to stay off the balcony when Watson is on the tee because he added: “I don't like to draw my driver so it's built to cut, and the line is just inside the hotel.”
Joking aside the two-time Masters champion is facing a challenge this week, just as he has in the past at The Open Championship.
“It's tough. The balls bounces around a lot, it rolls a lot. On paper it's probably not the best fit for me, with all the conditions added in. The water – I don't play too good in the rain. The way I like to move it in heavy winds is pretty difficult. I move it a lot and that makes it hard to control.”
Not that the Florida native is moaning about the task.
“It's a beautiful place. It's the Home of Golf. How would you not want to compete here? I do want to hit it straighter. I want to be like the greats of the game, hit the ball dead straight, I just can't do it. I've got to figure it out.”
The conundrum is even harder to understand when you factor in Watson's acknowledged creativity. Surely his game and links golf should be a match made in heaven?
“Sure thing and I really do love this kind of golf. My caddie, my friend and me practised here yesterday and then went to Kingsbarns because we love it.
“Maybe it comes down to making putts. I haven't really putted well in the wind.”
If he can find the answer and step up to the challenge we know one thing for sure – Watson has already lined up a couple of venues for the victory meal: it will be pizza or a sub.
“Something like that,” he laughed. “Something easy.”