Bubba Watson was cruising along at 3-up over Jonas Blixt in the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship when his approach shot to the 11th green went awry and almost hit his wife Angie, who was standing with a few folks outside the ropes.
The winner of last week’s Northern Trust Open was clearly unhappy with the shot, which took off into the rough and rolled up to his spouse, who seemed to be gazing toward the green and not at the incoming spheroid. Apparently, she's never been in the gallery when her husband lets fly.
The bad shot seemed to unnerve the edgy Watson, who made a par-5 on that hole but lost two of the next three holes to maintain just a 1-up advantage before coming up with a birdie on No. 15 to move back to 2-up.
Blixt made it interesting, with a three to Watson’s four on the par-4 17th, but he coughed up his chance of the upset when he lost his approach shot to 18 from heavy rough into the cacti.
"That is thank you and good night," pronounced Golf Channel’s Nick Faldo before Bubba found the green with his second shot and Blixt bellied around in the bushes trying to find his ball.
Jonas Blixt, Position A. pic.twitter.com/V8ssHzJBjh— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) February 20, 2014
Blixt did locate the wayward orb but had to take an unplayable lie and a penalty shot, necessitating a hole-out to extend the match. His fourth shot landed some 70 feet from the pin, so it was hats off, hand shakes all around, and Bubba, with the 2-up W, headed to the sweet 16 to face Victor Dubuisson in Friday’s third round.
"He’s a good player, we’re all good players out here. He made it through the first round so you knew it was going to be a battle all day," Watson told Golf Channel about having to scratch and claw down the stretch after getting off to a 3-up lead just four holes into the match.
"Just like yesterday," he said, referring to his 2&1 win over Mikko Illonen, "I was down early and I came back and fought back and won. So you got to prepare for that, you got to know its going to be that way and so what I had to do the last few holes is just try to make pars, hit good shots, and make him beat me.
"He beat me on 17," Bubba added, "and then I got lucky here on 18."