One of the main stories at last week's U.S. Open Championship was how poorly Bubba Watson played in his first major since winning the Masters in April. While some fans were skeptical that Watson could win the Open after taking time off to be with his growing family, watching him miss the cut was a shock for most. He was certainly vocal about his displeasure with Olympic Club, but he should be singing a different tune when he returns to the site of his first PGA Tour victory at the Travelers Championship on Thursday.
Back in 2010, Watson was trying his best to just make the United States Ryder Cup team by virtue of impressing captain Corey Pavin. At that year's Travelers Championship, however, Watson found himself in a playoff with both Pavin and Scott Verplank en route to notching his first tour victory. While Pavin was impressed with Bubba's play, Watson was more impressed with the TPC River Highlands course.
The fact that Watson is no longer the defending champion at the Travelers also seems to benefit the tour veteran. Asked if this season's tournament would be "easier to approach," Watson was all smiles, but eluded to new distractions in the process.
"Yeah, the distractions are ... they are different distractions now," Watson said. "You know, I won the Masters, so there's definitely more fans, more things to sign, more media attention."
Watson will tee off on Thursday paired with two of his closer friends on tour: Keegan Bradley and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson.