After months spent struggling to find his form, Bubba Watson says his swing may have been affected by his weight loss.
Since his Masters’ victories in 2012 and 2014, the former world number two’s ranking has plummeted to 49th just before the Open Championship. A T-27th at The Open Championship jumped him to 46th heading to this week’s RBC Canadian Open.
In 17 starts this season he has made 10 cuts, and one WD. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open and The Travelers, finished T-70th at the Greenbrier where he has a home, then a T-44th at the John Deere Classic. His last win was the 2016 Northern Trust Open.
His T-27th at The Open Championship had some great moments and showed some of the form Bubba is known for.
In today’s first round at the RBC Canadian Open, Watson shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 for his first bogey-free round of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR season and his first since round two of the 2016 BMW Championship (67), a stretch of 10 months, 18 days.
After his round Thursday he told the media he has been working on his swing and explained why it has been a difficult year.
“Yeah, we’ve been working — I got out of position with my swing over the last, man, probably about a year. You know, who knows why. Maybe because of losing weight. But that’s why I wanted to play so many rounds. That’s why I wanted to play six tournaments in a row so I can keep building on it and try to get better for the Playoffs”, said Watson.
Earlier this year a noticeably slimmer Watson said he had gone “sugar free” and eating clean for his health. His diet consisted mainly of “chicken and broccoli” said Watson, and had lost from 15-20 pounds.
“Actually, I’m eating small meals more times,” Watson said to Golfweek in March. “I threw in fish for the first time, a lot of chicken. Normally I don’t like eating on the golf course, but we made these little protein balls. No chips. I haven’t had a chip probably in three or four months. So it’s just things like that. The stuff everybody loves? I just cut it out. So I’m basically just bitter at the world.”
After winning the Hero World Challenge in December of 2015, Watson said that he’d retire if he won 10 times. Or if he got to No. 1 in the world, so he can “walk away on top.”
Then in April this year, Watson said, “Every once in a while when you get older, when you have a birthday, you kind of think, I’m a lot older than I used to be, so I need to get in shape,” Bubba, who will turn 39 later this year, said last month. “I want to play that Champions Tour, I need to get in shape.” So much for retiring after 10 wins.
Watson is playing his fourth out of six consecutive tournaments this week, a rarity for him.
“I added some tournaments. Just trying to move up. Trying to get some good strokes, get some good feels. Try to get back into, as Tiger would say, get some reps. Try to get back in the game of golf, said Watson. He also in trying to improve his Fed Ex Cup ranking, currently 117th.
“Truthfully, I got my TOUR card locked up for a few years, so I’m good. But my thing is just trying to get better at the game and I’ve got a little off. That’s why I threw in some more tournaments. This will be six in a row. This is my fourth one and I’ve got two more to go. So six in a row, try to get reps and try to get better in the game.
Watson went on his new health regime a few months after he opened a candy store for his Mother to manage in Pensacola, Florida. Talk about temptation!
— bubba watson (@bubbawatson) July 1, 2017
.Watch highlights of Watsons first round Thursday at the RBC Canadian Open.