Bubba faces toil and trouble for a double as a hooly blows in

 

royal lytham

Bubba Golf. It sounds like an attraction at Blackpool's Pleasure Beach just along the coast from here. There are 206 bunkers that look like bears' eyes with eyebrows on this crazily tough Lancashire links, but there are no windmills or clown's faces – apart from one joker following Masters champion Bubba Watson dressed in a rubber Captain America costume. The spectator was the one in fancy dress. Bubba is daft but he's not that barking mad.

Watson has quickly become the fans' favourite quirky American now that John Daly is more famous for his shockingly bad fluorescent coloured disco pants (Union Jacks on Friday, strobing orange and green maze yesterday) than his ability with ball and stick. Daly is 10 over par. Watson is the new superhero, a golfing Captain America (with a visor instead of a mask), especially after his gung-ho victory at Augusta in April and his goofy way of speaking and behaving. He upset the French last year (guaranteed to endear him to an English crowd) by referring to "that tower that begins with 'E'" (Eiffel). No such problems for him identifying the Blackpool version. Clue: it begins with 'B'.

Almost 40,000 spectators stomped the dunes yesterday and hordes of them yelled Bubba's name and cheered him to a two under par 68. It places him in the chasing pack at two under for the championship. Watson knows he will have to attack Lytham in the final round but that's the way he loves to play, anyway. Spectators will be treated to another display of Bubba Golf. It's sure to be a fast ride and the faster the fans scream, the faster he'll go. Buckle up for a twist or stick rollercoaster ride. His Saturday score was five shots better than his Friday 73 that saw him dabble with the cut mark but he is quite capable of racing to a score in the low sixties. With winds of up to 30mph forecast for this afternoon, if Watson can rack up the birdies before the hooly arrives, he could still give the leaders a fright.

It's an outside chance but Bubba is gunning to become only the ninth player to complete the Masters and Open double in the same year. The first was Ben Hogan in 1953; the last was Tiger Woods in 2005. Watson knows he needs the weather to blow his rivals off the course. "Yeah, I'm hoping it's calm when I play and then it's really rough for them," he said. "And rainy, too," he added with a grin. "We need tough conditions so we can play great and hope to move up. It looked like I was going to miss the cut as bad as I was playing," Watson said.

"To get back to two under for the tournament is pretty good. I still have to shoot a low round, but it can be done."

Watson is not the only American Masters champion on the leaderboard. Woods has four green jackets but is more concerned with getting his hands on a fourth Claret Jug, and the first since Hoylake in 2006. The 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson is also poised for a challenge for silverware at five under par. Watson glanced at the leaderboard and was asked was he delighted to see fellow Americans fairing so well. "Well, obviously, no," was his customary unexpected Bubba view on the world. "I'd rather it be me on top of the leaderboard," he said. "Who cares about the other people?" Well, quite.

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week