Bubba: I have a lot of mental issues

Bubba Watson says his sometimes controversial behaviour on and off the golf course comes from a place of fear.

The unorthodox left hander will once again be one of the favourites at this week's Masters, where he stands the chance of becoming a three-time winner of golf's biggest prize in the space of just five years.

But for all his success on the course, a success that comes from a genuinely unconventional and creative approach to the game, Watson remains a divisive figure among pundits and players alike.

When he's not thrilling crowds with another hook, fade or draw, he's drawing criticism for his frequent arguments, temper tantrums and complaints.

According to a recent interview with 60 Minutes, Watson says those negative reactions come from a place of fear.

“I have a lot of mental issues that I just am so fearful of things, which I shouldn’t be, right?" Watson said. 

"Scared of heights. Scared of buildings falling on me. Scared of the dark. Scared of crowds. Those are my biggest issues.”

“In between holes — is really scary to me — because there’s so many people that close to you… I’m just scared of people,” he admitted.

Watson's caddie Ted Scott summed it up like this: "Whew, man, he is a mess… but he's a fun mess, you know?

"I think Bubba is an extremely emotional person, but 95 percent of the time that's happiness."

It's that remaining 5 percent that is causing problems for Watson, and he admits that mentally, he is not always in the right place.

"The physical game is easy. That sounds bad. But it's easy to me," he added. "I can do that. I can hit it far. I can curve it. I got the shots. 

"It's just mentally being at that moment, right then."