Typically, it’s never OK to lay up. In any situation. You go for the green. However, Bubba Watson has come up with perhaps the one and only situation where it’s alright to lay up: when an Olympic medal is on the line.
The four Americans in the men’s Olympic golf competition were asked Tuesday if they would lay up if an Olympic medal, perhaps the difference between silver and bronze and no medal, was on the line.
“I’m gonna lay up and go for bronze,” he said, triggering laughter among the assembled media. “What? Why is everybody laughing?”
The follow-up was a question asking if he was joking.
“I am actually serious,” he said. “But, um, no, it’d be better to have bronze than nothing. But, um, no, it’s situational, you know what I’m saying? … Obviously, it’s different. There’s no money changing hands. It’s all about getting medals and competing to have that medal around your neck and being on the podium. So, yeah, it’s all situational. It just depends on where you are, what kind of lie you have and what it is at that time.
“But, obviously, you’re going to be looking. If you’re in third place, you’re going to try to make sure you don’t mess up and go to fourth real fast.”
For what it’s worth, Watson may be a man on an island when it comes to that answer, at least among his U.S. peers. Rickie Fowler, answering before Watson, said he will be aggressive to the end.
“I speak for myself,” Fowler started, “but I feel like I speak for the rest of the guys that if there’s a chance at winning the golf tournament or taking a risk possibly down the stretch to win gold, I don’t think we’re going to play it safe by any means.”