ORLANDO, Fla. — Bubba Watson tied his career-best round at Bay Hill with a 5-under 67, finishing just before the leaders teed off and the wind machine started on Sunday.
Playing in his last competitive round before his defense at the Masters in two weeks, Watson nudged his way into a top-25 finish with a bogey-free round that included five birdies, none coming on the reachable par-5s.
“I made some key putts,” Watson said after tying his best round from 2008. “I hit a lot of quality shots just like I did the last couple days, but I made the momentum putts that I needed to make the keep the round going.”
Putting was the crux of his struggles this week with four 3-putts, which led to a struggle to find any momentum.
Watson said he was comfortable with the other aspects of his game this week.
“I’m hitting the ball great, my mind is in the right spot,” Watson said after his round. “I’m having a blast on and off the course. But it’s all about momentum. If you’re not making the 10‑footers for par or the 5‑footers for par or the birdie putts from 10 feet, then you’re kind of in a lull, so that’s the way I started out this week, and today I just made some putts.”
Now the long left-hander turns his sights to Augusta, that is after two days at the Tavistock Cup.
Watson will make his first trip to Augusta National since his win on Wednesday and play two practice rounds with his agent and a friend before returning to Florida for his final preparations for his major defense.
But Watson seems rather low-key about his 5-under round on Sunday or what it means for his chances of repeating at Augusta.
“Augusta is still two weeks away.” Watson said. “I could get sick, I could get food poisoning, who knows what I could get. Something could happen to my family and I might not even go. It’s so far away, like I told someone the other day, whoever wins this tournament doesn’t mean they’re the favorite going into Augusta. It’s just one of those things because it’s so far away.”