Bubba relishes Monday’s battle
Bubba Watson relishes a last-day struggle at the rain-delayed Bob Hope Classic’s fifth and final round in California on Monday.
Bubba Watson is relishing a last-day struggle against both himself and the field when the rain-delayed Bob Hope Classic goes into its fifth and final round in California on Monday.
Watson joined PGA Tour rookie Alex Prugh in the lead in Palm Springs on Sunday but was far from happy with his play.
Waiting for a maiden PGA Tour victory after more than 100 tournament starts, Watson had a two-shot lead over Prugh heading to his final hole of the day at PGA West’s Nicklaus course, one of four par-72s in use at the 90-hole pro-am event.
A double bogey, however, gave Watson a three-under 69 and dropped him back into a tie for the lead with his fellow American at 23 under par, Prugh, playing SilverRock, having posted a 70.
“It was just a struggle out there all day,” Watson said. “I haven’t hit my tee balls well in the last two days, but held it together. My mind’s still in the right place. We’ve got one more day to go, though and hopefully something sparks in the next few hours.
“Overall, at the end of the week, if I was tied for the lead, going into the last day, it’s always a great week. So I’m looking forward to the battle tomorrow – with myself, and with the golf course.”
Prugh said he was feeling a lot more comfortable about the challenge ahead.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow a lot,” he said.
“I think if I just keep my game plan that I was playing the last four days, and keep on plugging along, making birdies here and there, and minimising the mistakes, I think I’ll have a great chance.”
South Africa’s Tim Clark and Bill Haas of the United States are a stroke behind after both players carded 66s at SilverRock and Nicklaus respectively, while Canada’s Mike Weir shot a 67 at a Quinta to join Americans Matt Kuchar (65), Kevin Streelman (64) and Martin Flores (72) at 20 under par.
Sweden’s Richard S Johnson finished the day as the leading European after a 68 at SilverRock left him at 17 under with compatriot Carl Pettersson on 15 under following a 68 on the same course.
Another Swede, Fredrik Jacobson and Norway’s Henrik Bjornstad, will start the final round on 12 under while English duo Greg Owen and Brian Davis made the cut for the final round on nine under.
Davis shot a 67 at the Palmer course while Owen left La Quinta with a 70 but a triple-bogey seven at Palmer’s 10th hole and three other bogeys sent Englishman Justin Rose to a 74 and out of the tournament at eight under par.
With just the professionals playing the final round, all play will take place on the Palmer course.
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