MAMARONECK, N.Y. (Reuters) – Bubba Watson had his plane ready to go then, despite a double-bogey on his final hole, shot one of just three sub-par rounds at the U.S. Open on Friday, ensuring he will be going nowhere this weekend.
A self-described head case, a double-bogey at 18 that turned a great round at the famously tough Winged Foot Golf Club into a good one might have left Watson fuming.
But the twice Masters champion shrugged off the lapse saying there were bigger problems in the world, like a hurricane that had been bearing down on his Florida home, signing for one-under 69 to sit just five back of the leader Patrick Reed.
“There’s other things — there’s other bigger things out there,” said Watson. “This year has been a crazy year for everybody in the world.
“And now, my hometown, the destruction of the hurricane, there’s so many bigger things out there right now.”
As Hurricane Sally slammed into his hometown of Bagdad, Florida earlier in the week Watson said he considered leaving the U.S. Open to be with his family.
But with no way to get into the area he decided, after talking to his wife Angie, to stay in Mamaroneck.
“When it hit on Wednesday, the first text I sent my wife is I should I come home, again, golf is golf and life is more important than that,” said Watson. “And so that’s really where I’m at.
“If boss lady says come home, I’m going home. One of the issues was where do you fly into.
Watson said his family was safe and the house equipped to ride out the storm allowed him to try and focus on winning a U.S. Open.
While the 41-year-old has two Green Jackets he has found very little success at the U.S. Open his best result a tie for fifth in 2007 but in 13 appearances overall has missed the cut eight times.
“Right now I’m trying to stay focused on a very difficult golf course instead of the very difficult situation at home,” said Watson, who has already talked to the PGA Tour about how they might help communities hurt by the storm. “When I get back, we’ll assess how we can help, how we can help as the Watson family, how I can help a community that’s helped me so much.”
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Daniel Wallis)