Watson will fine-tune "Bubba Golf" for a treacherous Lytham
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Watson will fine-tune “Bubba Golf” for a treacherous Lytham

Bubba Watson can admit to having a problem with focus on the golf course. This week, Royal Lytham and St. Annes should have little trouble grabbing the Masters champion's attention.

"When I focus right, I play pretty good," Watson said, according to the Associated Press. "And when I don't focus right, I miss the cut pretty quick."

With 206 bunkers on the course - and Watson was counting - the man from Bagdad, Fla., spent his first day of practice at the English links trying to figure out where to put the ball. Where not to put it is obvious.

"It looks like we're going to hit a lot of irons off of tees, try to play safer, smarter — whatever you want to call it — and just have a longer shot into some of these holes," Watson said.

A wet growing season has thickened already deep rough, making many shots from the wispy stuff practically unplayable. Defending champion Darren Clarke said the bunkers are so penal, players might have to take drops in the sand just to escape. Short and green is universally good in golf. There's seemingly less of that this week than most.

Watson will be forced to play in a short ballpark, measuring just over 7,000 yards. In a drier but equally as tight sandbox at The Olympic Club, Watson went packing after two rounds. After making the long haul to England, Watson hopes not to repeat that.

"You have to play smart," he said. "This golf course, and the U.S. Open, they make you play to a strategy and have to play a certain way, so you have to do that."

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

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