Leaner and lighter Bubba set for PGA return

Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:10pm EST
 

(Reuters) - Masters champion Bubba Watson will be much leaner and lighter than usual when he returns to PGA Tour action at this week's Phoenix Open after pulling out before the start of last week's event in San Diego because of flu.

The American left-hander has endured a rough start to his 2013 campaign, having also battled a sore throat during the PGA Tour's season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui where he tied for fourth.

"My energy level is not where I want it to be, about 80 percent right now," Watson told reporters at the TPC Scottsdale in Arizona on Wednesday after partnering former Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps in the pro-am competition.

"I've had about seven days off taking medicine, so I'm still kind of under the weather trying to get the medicine out of me, kind of groggy.

"It's a struggle. My golf game is not where I want it to be. I've lost about 10 pounds since Maui, but I want to be out there competing. Hopefully I can get some juices flowing and play good this week."

World number nine Watson heads a relatively strong field at the TPC Scottsdale which includes twice champion Phil Mickelson, Germany's former world number one Martin Kaymer and triple major champion Padraig Harrington.

Also competing this week are world number seven Brandt Snedeker, the FedExCup champion, and 10th-ranked fellow American Jason Dufner.

GOOD PUTTING FORM

Irishman Harrington, who like Kaymer is playing in the $6.2 million Phoenix Open for the first time, was in an upbeat mood after producing good putting form in his first two European Tour starts of the year.   Continued...