Date: November 09, 2011
Author: Steve Orme, Sportal

Bubba: Short game the key

Fiery American Bubba Watson says precision will prevail over power at this week&aposs Emirates Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club. Known for his prodigious length off the tee and ability to shape the ball both ways at will, the unpredictable 33-year-old attracts large galleries wherever he plays. But Watson concedes he&aposll have to tone down his natural aggression in order to keep pace with a world-class field. “I think it comes down to putting and hitting your iron shots to the right spot,” Watson, who described the state of his game as &aposnot very good&apos, said on Wednesday. “The fairways are generous and I think it will come down to iron play and putting, whoever putts the best is usually up there.” “I think placing the ball in the right spot on the second shot or the third shot into a par five and making a few putts here and there is going to determine who plays the best this week.” “With a little bit of grain out there, the greens are going to be tricky to putt.” “The ball is breaking off a little bit here and there and with the high winds expected it is going to be a lot tougher to shoot low.” Watson revealed he will adopt a conservative approach on the 288m par four 13th, but plans to attack the infamous Par 5 15th after reaching the 502m signature hole with driver-pitching wedge on Wednesday. “We are going to lay up every day on 13,” he said. “We drove it yesterday and today we drove just off the green but for me the green is so small and the way it runs off, you can&apost really bump and run a shot up the hill.” “I am going to lay back and have a wedge in there – hopefully I can hit a wedge in close a couple of times.” Watson&aposs United States Presidents Cup team-mate Matt Kuchar was generous with his praise of the tricky Lakes layout “It is a fun golf course,” Kuchar said. “I heard that it used to be parkland with trees all over and they changed it a couple of years ago to be more links like.” “I stepped up to a number of holes and said, &aposwow, this is a really cool looking hole&apos.” The consistent 33-year-old, who racked up nine top-10 finishes in 24 starts on the PGA Tour this season, admits his game is in good shape in an ominous sign for the other 155 players in the field. “I have been pleased,” he said of the state of his game. “I was pleased with the 12 holes I played yesterday. I don&apost feel my game gets too far off but you never know.” “You feel fortunate when things are going you way but know that at any moment they can change.” “I feel my game has been pretty consistent for the past couple of years and was pleased yesterday.”