Bubba Watson got booed hard on TPC Scottsdale's par-3 16th on Thursday in Round 1 of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The day prior, Watson said he didn't like changes original designer Tom Weiskopf made to the course and which debuted at last year's tournament. The two-time Masters winner was not delicate in answering a question about why he likes this course since, after all, Watson has been runner-up in this event each of the last two years.
"I don't like it," Watson said in response. "I'm not going to PC it. I don't like it at all. I just mentioned why I'm here. I've got three beautiful sponsors that love it here."
Watson didn't like that Weiskopf had lengthened the course and modified bunkering to target longer players like the two-time Masters winner. It played harder, he said. Then Watson made it harder on himself with his Wednesday comments.
As Watson stood over his ball before his tee shot, the fans booed mercilessly. Perhaps in defiance, Watson hit his tee shot to 11 feet. On the walk to the green, Watson handed out some Ping visors to fans. Ping is one of Watson's three sponsors in the area, as well Oakley and Stance Socks.
Watson was applauded by the fans at the green after he made the birdie putt.
Perhaps aware he made a mistake with what he said, Watson sent a tweet on Thursday morning hoping to offer a mea culpa to the Phoenix Open fans.
— bubba watson (@bubbawatson) February 4, 2016
After shooting 2-under 69 on Thursday, Watson did not have media availability.