Sometimes “Bubba Golf” isn’t all big drives, imaginative shot-making and clutch putting.
Sometimes, Bubba Watson tests the gallery’s ability to stomach a topsy-turvy ride all over the course. Check out his scorecard on Friday’s mundane sounding 1-over-par 73: seven birdies, six bogeys and one double bogey.
“Oh, yeah, I had a ton of those (rounds),” Watson said. “That’s what we call ‘Bubba Golf.’”
The defending Masters champion avoided the cut by one stroke at 4-over 148.
Putting was the issue, the same as on Thursday, he said. Watson counted six of what he called “natural” three-putts and two from just on the fringe over two rounds, for eight total.
He said that’s the difference between 4-over and 4-under.
“It just comes down to the greens are slower than what we’re used to,” he said. “I’m used to it being a lot more difficult and different pin placements, and the ball was just not rolling like I thought. So I left just about every putt short, it seems like.”
Asked why the greens were so slow, he said, “I just play golf. I don’t know how to grow grass.”
Watson said extra work on his putting wouldn’t have mattered because he plays by feel.
“It’s just in my mind and I’m trying to respect the golf course and think it’s going to be the Masters that we know and love, and obviously, I don’t know and love it right now because I three-putted every hole, it seemed like,” he said.
Watson said the slow pace of play at “five and a half hours” provided a mental test.
“For a round of golf, it’s not fun for anybody,” said Watson, who avoided being the first defending champion since Mike Weir in 2004 to miss the cut. “I mean, that’s just miserable golf. So we’re worrying about banning putters, we should be worried about speeding up golf.”
Watson will have the course basically all to himself Saturday, as he goes off first at 9:25 a.m. while playing with a noncompeting marker.