Sport Golf

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Bubba blows his top

Bernie McGuire, in Versailles

Visiting American Bubba Watson discarded every toy in the pram, blaming Tour officials, spectators, marshalls and a general lack of crowd control after missing the cut in what could well be his first and last French Open showing.

The world No 12 managed just three birdies as he carded also four bogeys and an 11th-hole double bogey in a second straight 74 to miss the Versailles cut with a six-over-par tally.

But it was Watson's surly attitude, at one of the more prestigious events on the European Tour, that left many wondering why sponsors even bothered seeking his appearance, while the caddy to Nicolas Colsaerts is known to have given Watson some parting 'advice' when the American was leaving the locker room.

Watson had put up a brick wall to almost all requests since arriving in the French capital and he's also understood to have declined to share a courtesy car to the course with a fellow Tour player, instead demanding his own car for the short drive from his complimentary room at the Trianon Palace.

"It's just been different," he said. "It's not a normal tournament. It's just different for me. There's cameras, there's phones, there's everything. No security.

"I'm not comfortable and it's very strange to me."

Watson's post-round comments generated a massive number of comments on Twitter including: "Gary Player and Ernie Els are in the Royal Box at Wimbledon. Will Nicolas Sarkozy be joined by Bubba Watson tomorrow?

Frenchman Rafael Jacquelin, who played in the company of Watson for the two rounds, suggested: "He was okay and good fun with Miguel (Jimenez) and myself for the two rounds, but he's not happy and looking to find an excuse.

"We've had big crowds following us for two days and I thought they were pretty good."

Dublin's Paul McGinley (71) and Ballyclare's Gareth Maybin (72), each with level-par totals, head the four of the six Irish to make the cut.

However, Maybin became the second Irish player to fall foul of the rules at the 18th. Maybin and playing partner, Paul Broadhurst both found the bunker at the last, with Maybin quizzing the former Ryder Cup star if he could remove stones from the bunker.

Broadhurst confirmed he could but when Maybin picked up what he thought was a stone, it crumbled in his hand. "I thought it was a stone but it turned out to be a hard piece of sand that broke up in my hand," said Maybin. Maybin was three-under-par at the time, but before handing in his card he sought out chief referee, Andy McFee, a day after McFee had to inform Damien McGrane his action in taking a penalty drop at the same hole was illegal.

Under the rules, McFee could do nothing but confirm the two-stroke penalty for Maybin to record a triple-bogey seven.

Belfast's Michael Hoey (71) made the cut by a stroke at one-over-par but Shane Lowry (69) continues to struggle and, since finishing fourth at Wentworth, he's missed the cut at three straight events.

Darren Clarke also has the weekend off to explore Paris with his fiancee after rounds of 75 and 71. England's James Morrison (66) heads the field by one stroke at 10-under-par with Australia's Richard Green (69) in second place.

Meanwhile, speculation is growing that Clarke and Jimenez will captain the respective Vivendi Trophy team sides in September.

The appointment of both the GB&I and European team captains will be announced in the week after the British Open, with the selections of Clarke and Jimenez a stepping stone to eventual Ryder Cup captaincy.

French Open,

Live, Sky Sports 1, 1.0

Irish Independent

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport