Bubba back at cherished event after Open missed cut

Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:30pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Masters champion Bubba Watson returns to one of his most treasured tournaments and venues for this week's Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut after missing the cut at the U.S. Open in Pinehurst five days ago.

Watson won the first of his six PGA Tour titles in a playoff for the 2010 Travelers Championship and has played in the event every year at the TPC River Highlands since tying for sixth in 2008.

"This is a week I always look forward to," the American world number three told reporters while preparing for Thursday's opening round. "I think I was the first one this year to signed up for the tournament.

"It was a dream come true to win here in 2010. My dad was about to pass away, so my dad got to see me win for the first time.

"At the time it could have been the only time (he won on the PGA Tour), but I happened to back it up a couple years later."

Watson's father, Gerry, had been battling lung cancer and died in October 2010, three months before his son landed a second PGA Tour victory at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Last week's U.S. Open was played in challenging, fast-running conditions on Pinehurst's No. 2 Course and Watson was delighted to be back at a venue where he has recorded four top-six finishes in the past six years.

"It's always fun coming back here," said the 35-year-old, who has landed the Masters title twice in the last three seasons. "Last week was very difficult for me. I took away that I need to be tougher. I need to be tougher mentally.

"I played good the second day, as good as I could play, and I still shot I think it was even, and there was other guys shooting under par every day. For me it was a tough week."   Continued...

 
Bubba Watson tees off on the 14th hole during the second round of the 2014 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pinehurst Resort Country Club - #2 Course. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports