Bubba Watson said he was sorry on Friday for saying he was only playing in the Waste Management Phoenix Open because three of his sponsors were in the area.
The two-time Masters champion heard it from fans in Thursday's opening round, particularly on the rowdy par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale. Despite a great tee shot that led to birdie and a hat giveaway, Watson couldn't appease the fans. He was booed again on Friday.
— Vivid Lia 19 (@netlia) February 5, 2016
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
"I used the wrong words," Watson said after a second consecutive 2-under 69 has him on the fringes of contention heading into the weekend.
On Wednesday, Watson, who finished runner-up in this tournament each of the last two years, was asked what he liked about the Tom Weiskopf design, which Weiskopf remodeled in 2014 to be longer and more difficult for longer-hitting players like Watson.
"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."
After a second consecutive 2-under 69 that has him on the verge of contention heading into the weekend, Watson maintained he still doesn't -- and never did -- like the course, but that he comes for the unique atmosphere.
"I have nothing against the fans and the tournament," he said. "The fans have been great. I love coming here. I've lived here every winter for eight years. This is a beautiful place. And the reason why I'm here is because of the excitement around this golf tournament. The fans have been great."
"I used words that I shouldn't have used," he added. "I didn't explain myself well. My wife says that, too, when I go home. I don't communicate very well."
Watson will have a pretty large focus group on Saturday to see how well his apology will go over with the fans. Saturday is the tournament's busiest and most outrageous day, so a packed house at 16 will let Watson know exactly where he stands with them.
"When you hit a bad shot, they are rough with everybody," Watson said, trying to downplay the boo-birds of the first two days. "I three-putted [on Friday]. They were rough then, too. But I gave out free socks, so they love me again. That's why I bring the stuff, so they all love me no matter how I hit it."