Bubba Watson: Masters Champion Poised for Big Weekend at 2012 British Open

Alex KayCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2012

LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 20:  Bubba Watson of the United States  watches his tee shot on the first hole during the second round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club on July 20, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Bubba is back.

The charismatic golfer finished the first round of the 2012 British Open at three-under par and was T6 with a number of elite competitors. He’s looking great and should head into the weekend rounds near the top of the leaderboard.

This is a nice change, as Bubba Watson took the golfing world by storm when he won the 2012 Masters, but suffered from a significant drop off immediately following his success.

He missed the cut at the Memorial and U.S. Open before finishing a respectable second place at the Travelers Championship on June 24.

Watson has not played in an organized tournament since then and many thought he would be too rusty—as he was after barely playing between the Masters and U.S. Open—going into The Open Championship.

That’s obviously not the case, as the Florida native is tearing up the links at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

Perhaps most interestingly is the manner in which Bubba is playing isn’t his usual, but he’s still succeeding.

Watson was only driving an average of 306 yards over the first 18 holes, which is below his 316.33 season average and his putting is slightly off, taking just about half a putt more thank his average to hole the ball in the first round.

If he can finish T6 after a round by playing well below his best, Watson will certainly dominate the weekend if he’s on his game.

There should be clear skies and sunshine during the latter rounds and that just makes it even easier for the 33-year-old to dominate.

While Bubba’s game suffered following the Masters, it is clear he has it back and will be in contention on Sunday.