Open Championship

Watson upbeat on Open chances

2015-07-15 12:24
Bubba Watson (AFP Photo)

St Andrews - Bubba Watson was brimming with enthusiasm on Tuesday as he looks to improve on his recent years of poor form at the Open when the 144th Championship gets underway at St Andrews on Thursday.

The 36-year-old left-hander from Florida has enjoyed his greatest success on the other side of the Atlantic where he won the 2012 and 2014 Masters' while also racking up 10 professional victories, including a morale-boosting win at The Travellers Championship in June.

However his best showing at the Open was a tie for 23rd in 2012 while he failed to make the cut last year when Rory McIlroy won at Hoylake for his third major triumph.

Despite his poor record on British courses, the world number three is raring to go on Thursday when he tees off with Englishman Ian Poulter and South African Charl Schwartzel.

"I'm looking forward to the challenges just like we do every week. I missed the cut here 2010, so I'm looking forward to trying to make the cut, and then challenging.

"Watching Jordan Spieth, watching (Rory) McIlroy, challenging and trying to win another major, watching these great players win. I want to be up there and have a chance on Sunday," said the 36-year-old, who also finished runner-up at the 2010 PGA Championship.

"It's a beautiful place, it's the Home of Golf; how would you not want to be here? How would you not want to compete here? Just playing here with buddies is well worth it, but now playing here in the championship is an honour and a thrill.

"Rumour is, there could be some winds this week, kind of like in '10 when we had the wind delay, so it's going to be a challenge.

Watson also says he gets inspired and motivated by the success of his rivals and wants to push on and emulate the new generation coming through.

"Watching Rickie (Fowler) win some big tournaments -- you know, when you watch some of your buddies like that winning, you want to compete with them.

"You want to not get too far behind them. Luckily I threw in a win at Travelers there so I'm not too far behind them, even though I think (Jordan) Spieth has got like four wins this year.

"Tiger (Woods) pushed us to a whole new level and now you've got these young guns coming out. Rory (26) is getting so much older now compared to Spieth (21)," he joked.

"But you've got these young guns coming out and performing at a high level. "It's going to make us work harder and train harder and try to get better for our own careers.

The ever humourous Watson even had an amusing reply when asked if he had ever worn a kilt.

"I don't know if you look at social media ever, but when we lost the Ryder Cup, me, Rickie, Sergio (Garcia) and Rory, you've probably heard of those guys before, we all wore those in our team room.

"I hate to say, I had underwear on under mine. Some other guys did not." he revealed to a burst of laughter.

Should Watson prevail on Sunday, he also said he may have an unusual venue for celebrating.

"Well, I noticed there was a Domino's Pizza right across the street here. I haven't looked or seen a McDonald's yet, and I know from past experience there's a Subway, I think, if it's still there.

"So yeah, something like that, something easy."

Read more on:    open championship  |  bubba watson  |  golf

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