US Open - Bubba eyes second Major at US Open

Mon, 11 Jun 22:31:00 2012

Bubba Watson knew his private life would never be the same again after he won the Masters in April. Now he will discover whether his golf game is any different when he tees off at the US Open on Thursday.

2012 GOLF US Masters Bubba Watson's pink driver - 0

The American has never been one for convention, a trait that has endeared him to the huge galleries that hoot and holler every time he swings the club.

Self-taught, Watson relies on his instinct and imagination rather than any coaching manual to get around a golf course.

"I just play golf because I love it. I love the surprise of the different shots," he said before the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio, two weeks ago, his final warm-up for the July 14-17 US Open.

"I hit in the trees a lot, so I try to make it through those gaps. I'm just having fun with the game of golf and if people love it, that's great."

Watson's unorthodox style paid off big at Augusta National in April when the left-hander pulled off a miraculous approach shot from the rough to beat South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen in a playoff to win his first major championship.

Already a cult figure on the greens, his stunning Masters victory catapulted him into a whole new world and he has spent the past two months juggling his golf game with everything from appearances on TV talk shows, being presented with the keys to the city of his hometown and changing diapers.

"There is a lot of stuff still going on in my life," said Watson, who along with his wife Angie adopted a one-month-old boy named Caleb in March. "Dealing with a major championship is a totally different level.

"You dream of winning a major championship, but then actually pulling it off, you don't know how to deal with it."

Like any new dad, Watson has new perspective on life. The Masters may have been the highlight of his sporting career, but fatherhood is now his main priority.

It is little wonder then that Watson's game has not been at its sharpest in his two events since the Masters. The 33-year-old tied for 18th at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, a tournament he won in 2011, then missed the cut at the Memorial.

But with the second Major of the year now approaching, it is back to work for Watson. He arrived at San Francisco's iconic Olympic Club ahead of most players to get in some practice and says he is as motivated as ever to win the championship.

"Who doesn't want to win the next tournament they play or the next Major? Who doesn't want to win the Grand Slam?" said Watson. "It's a learning process and hopefully I can get the rust off my game pretty quick when I start this week."

Reuters

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