No Augusta magic this time from Watson

JULIAN LINDEN
Last updated 12:06 12/04/2013

Relevant offers

Golf

Reason: Ah, the warmth of Hoylake memories Ogilvy in danger of missing US PGA Tour playoffs Open winner Rory McIlroy 'cocky in a nice way' Time out for Lydia Ko before big month of golf Lydia Ko wins LPGA Tour's Marathon Classic New Zealand Golf names Eisenhower team Lydia Ko becoming LPGA's queen of selfies Rory McIlroy holds his nerve to win British Open Steve Alker misses in Boise Open playoff Rory McIlroy's dad wins big after son's victory

There were no miracle shots or tears of joy from Bubba Watson at the Masters when the American launched his title defence.

Unlike his final round last year, when he produced one of the greatest shots seen at Augusta National to win the green jacket, Watson was unable to conjure up any magic this time.

He shot a three-over 75, his worst first-round score in five appearances at the Masters. His score was not enough to knock him of contention but left him a long way off the lead.

Instead of the tears that followed his playoff win last year, there were only groans this time as he struggled with his putter on the lightning fast greens.

"There's going to be bad days and good days." said Watson, who is nine shots back of co-leaders Marc Leishman of Australia and Spaniard Sergio Garcia.

"I hit the ball really well. I can't complain about my ball-striking. I just didn't putt well."

The left-handed Watson was solid from tee to green but had 35 putts in his round, among the highest totals from the opening round.

"I never got the speed right, never got the ball to the hole," he said.

"They were slower than what I was expecting. The balls weren't rolling out like they normally do over the past years, so I just left a lot of putts short, a lot of putts were breaking different than I was expecting."

Watson burst into tears when he attended his pre-tournament new conference on Tuesday as the memories of his win from last year came flooding back.

But he said he had no problems controlling his emotions when he was on the course Thursday, adopting the approach that he was back at work.

"I gave the jacket up two weeks ago when I was here, so nobody owns the jacket. Everybody is playing for it right now," he said.

"I didn't feel any different. I didn't feel any more pressure to myself. I just didn't get the speed right on the greens. If I two-putt all those, I shoot one-under, which would be a nice score."

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

When do you think Lydia Ko will win a Major, if at all?

She's so good it will definitely be this year

Within the next three years

Golf's a hard game. It could take her years

Sorry, I just don't think she's got the goods to win a Major

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content