Bubba repents amid criticism at PGA
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Despite a couple of expletives that were caught by microphones Friday at the PGA Championship, Bubba Watson was part of the "marquee" live-streaming pairing on the tournament's website Saturday morning.
Winning two Masters titles affords him the popularity – but it's been an odd week for the Florida native, spending time on the backs of his heels, defending odd decisions and behavior. Watson seems to run hot and cold inside the ropes depending on the day – and Friday he not only had been hot, but scalding.
On Friday morning, microphones caught Watson dropping an F-bomb and another questionable phrase – by the way, he's far from the only one to use salty language on the course – and that caused social media to beat him up a bit.
On Saturday after his third-round 73, one shot worse than Friday, he went beyond a Twitter-sized character count.
“I really appreciate those people that talk bad about me,” Watson said. “Not bad about me but towards me, because I need to be held accountable for my actions, and so the Bible says that you shouldn't act that way, and I acted that way.”
Watson went on to say that he was imperfect and that he is going to make mistakes and all he can do is get back up and brush himself off.
“The people that called me out on it, which I loved to death, I'm glad they did, held me accountable for my actions, and that's the only way to improve,” Watson concluded. “So for me, I did wrong, and now I'm going to try and improve.”
Watson's attitude cleary was more congenial despite the higher score on a "moving day" when many went low.
“Today was high emotions, but I held it in check, and that's what I need,” Watson said. “If I'm going to play good golf and be a good husband and a good dad, I need to be accountable for whatever my actions are. I'm glad those people called me out.”
He had taken to Twitter Friday afternoon to offer up an apology:
"Sorry for my actions today! Trying to get better as person. Thanks to all who support me. #YallDontGiveUpOnMe"
Rickie Fowler, one of Watson's best friends, offered up some perspective on Watson late Friday.
"Bubba's Bubba," Fowler explained. "There's times where he may say some stuff or do some stuff that a lot of people don't see eye-to-eye with him. I know he can get a little fiery on the golf course. And a lot of it is just him trying to motivate himself in a way. I know it kind of sounds weird with some of the stuff he says and some of the stuff, how he talked down to himself or if he gives (caddie) Teddy (Scott) a hard time.
"It's tough when you're struggling. Hopefully get him turned around, because we're going to need him at the Ryder Cup."
Watson seemed to be more affected than most by the weather Friday, although playing competitor Rory McIlroy was quick to defend Watson. This coming a day after complaining of slow play.
"Like I've campaigned after a lot of shots before and everyone out there moans about something. It's just part of it," said McIlroy. "I could see how some people could maybe be affected by it.
"Look, everyone complains at some point or another. I've been guilty of it before and a lot of other players on Tour have done the same thing."
Watson's rough week started before any player showed up for a Monday practice round at Valhalla, as he shocked his fans and media alike when he spoke out against the return of the long-drive competition at the PGA Championship, saying that he wouldn't partake.
“I want to practice the game of golf,” he said. “I want to learn this golf course. I haven’t seen the 10th hole. I don’t see that we should have a competition like that while we’re playing a practice round and learning the golf course, trying to win a great championship. There’s no reason to make something up in the middle of the practice round like that. That’s just me. Like it or not, that’s just who I am.”
Watson chose to hit a 240-yard 3-iron off the 10th tee on Tuesday instead.
“Longest 3-iron of the day,” he quipped later. “I won that competition. Take that.
“I was just trying to prove a point that nobody cared about."