Bubba Watson enters 2018 Masters in a much better place

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Bubba Watson enters 2018 Masters in a much better place

PGA Tour

Bubba Watson enters 2018 Masters in a much better place

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Bubba Watson was in a good frame of mind Monday at Augusta National. It’s difficult to tell if this is because he’s playing better golf, or if he’s playing better golf because he’s in a good frame of mind.

Trying to get inside Watson’s mind is a dangerous game, but the important thing here is that the two-time Masters champion seems content on and off the course.  That makes him one of the favorites this week and may seem hard to believe considering where he was at when he left the property a year ago.

“Really, it’s about life,” Watson said. “My life is in a great spot. Golf is sometimes in a bad spot, but I’m just in the right frame of mind and understand what I want to do in my life and where I want to go in my life.”

Watson lashed out at reporters last year after shooting 6-over 78 in Round 2 to miss the cut at Augusta, one of seven missed cuts on the season. He missed the cut in three of four majors, logging a T-27 at the British Open, and dropped all the way from No. 10 to No. 73 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Watson has already enjoyed a significant turnaround just nine starts into the 2017-18 season. He won the Genesis Open in February and last month took out Kevin Kisner, 7 and 6, in the finals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Asked about what has sparked this turnaround, Watson will mention his role as the leader of the family. He speaks in vague terms about religion and fatherhood, willing to pose questions but unwilling to divulge intimate details.

“There’s things behind closed doors that people don’t know about that we don’t talk about that can cause you to be in a good or bad frame of mind,” Watson said. “I’ve been in a good frame of mind when I won. I’ve never been in a bad frame of mind and still beat everybody else.”

Everyone wants to know why things happen, but sometimes there are no clear answers. What’s clear is that Watson is once again a force to be reckoned with. The big hitter has always been a puzzling figure, but at age 39, Watson is still trying to improve on and off the course. He’s picked up 11 wins over the course of his career, with fans and media trying to figure out what makes him tick over the past decade.

They’d have an easier time figuring out his chances this week at Augusta, where he’s back in the mix after a year he’d like to forget.

“I’m nervous no matter what,” Watson said. “Even if ya’ll weren’t talking about me, like last year, nobody probably mentioned my name. I was still coming here thinking I had a chance to win. Focused on trying to win. So what the media’s saying or media’s not saying, I still have the thoughts that I have the ability to win at any moment.”

No further questions.

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