Bubba Watson’s title defense at this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play has gone about as poorly as he expected it to go, going 0-2 in his first two round-robin matches.
Last week at the Valspar Championship, Watson admitted, “If I win Match Play again, it would be a miracle.”
Watson didn’t say so because his game wasn’t in the right shape to win — he’s coming off of a top-4 finish in Tampa — but the vagaries of match play simply don’t jive well with his mindset. He said he feels like he has a better chance to contend and win over 72 holes rather than in match play.
On Thursday in his second round robin match against Billy Horschel, Watson already saw his chances of advancing to the weekend waning after dropping his first group match on Wednesday to Kevin Na.
Three holes into his second match, Watson heard some chirping from a fan after bombing a drive on the par-4 third hole and the two-time Masters champion let the mouthy fan have it.
Bubba acting tough. LOL. Surprised he didn’t cry a little. pic.twitter.com/b5clko7GgM
— DrinkSmokeGolf (@DrinkSmokeGolf) March 28, 2019
After hitting his drive, Watson looked directly in the fan’s direction.
Watson’s caddie, Ted Scott, attempted to diffuse the situation by beginning the one-sided conversation with, “Hey buddy, let’s be quiet next time,” but Watson was ready to jaw with the fan.
“It’s funny how tough you were then you looked away,” Watson said.
“Pretty funny,” Scott added.
“Everybody’s big behind the ropes and behind the computer,” Watson continued.
“Look at him, he’s still trying to look cool,” Scott finished as the pair left the tee box to chase down Watson’s 331-yard drive.
Trailing by one on the third hole, Watson dropped to as many as 3-down at the turn. He was able to cut Horschel’s lead to 1-up through 12 holes after back-t0-back wins, but Horschel closed the door on the 17th hole to win 2&1.
Officially eliminated from reaching the 16-man bracket portion, Watson will have the opportunity to play the role of spoiler when he plays Jordan Spieth on Friday at Austin Country Club.