Tom Watson tips Rose and Bubba to tame Hoylake

Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:20pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - Five-times British Open champion Tom Watson has tipped Justin Rose and namesake Bubba Watson to mount strong title challenges at Royal Liverpool this week.

The 64-year-old American says Englishman Rose is the form horse while shot-maker extraordinaire Bubba has the ability to make the ball do precisely what he wants it to do in the tricky winds that are likely to confront the players on the par-72 links course.

"I like Justin's chances," Watson told Reuters in an interview on the eve of the championship.

"You've always got to look at the horse that's leading the pack right now and I like the way he won on another links course at Royal Aberdeen last week."

World number three Rose is attempting to make it three victories in successive tournaments, having also won the Quicken Loans National event in Maryland and last week's Scottish Open.

Bubba captured the second green jacket of his career when he won the U.S. Masters at Augusta in April.

British bookmakers rate the left-handed American as a long-shot for the title - not so his namesake.

"I kind of like Bubba," said the elder Watson who surprised cardholders at nearby Caldy Golf Club on Wednesday and delivered a golf lesson as part of the #PricelessSurprises program (   Continued...

U.S. golfer Tom Watson hits his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the 2014 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 10, 2014.  REUTERS/Jim Young