Bubba Watson hits two of the most inventive shots you’ll see — and they go 54 feet

Bubba Watson's third and fourth shots on Friday on the 12th hole at TPC Twin Cities.


Bubba Watson, on the par-5 12th at TPC Twin Cities, after a tee shot that landed just yards to the left of a hazard, hit his second shot, then simply dropped his iron on his follow-through. He’d signal right. His ball bounced toward a right greenside bunker, then settled on the downslope toward it. 

“Look at this right here,” analyst Curt Byrum said during Golf Channel’s broadcast. “This is what he has. Good luck getting that one close.” 

“It’s going to take everything he’s got in the bag,” announcer Whit Watson said. 

Or just Bubba. 

He’s got everything in the bag, and he’s not afraid to think outside of it, too. Watson’s synonymous with shot-making. And during Friday’s second round of the 3M Open, shots he made.

Shot one, stroke three. The ball is about a yard behind the bunker, the bunker is about 10 yards long, and the pin is short-sided, the shot being 54 feet in total. One thought would be to pitch it high, but with the ball on a downslope, the risk was high. The conventional play would be to take your medicine, pitch it deeper and try to make par, but no worse than a bogey. 

Or …

What about that patch of grass that jutted into the center of the bunker. Hmm. 

“He actually — thought for a second he was rehearsing trying to bounce it into that tongue up there,” Byrum said on the broadcast. “Let’s see what he does try to do here. He might be trying to bounce this in, coming in a lot lower.”

Watson would. He took four practice swings, then punched his ball at that grass, and less than a foot to the right of the bunker lip. It bounced and settled about a foot from the fringe of the green.  

“How about that?” Byrum said. “Oh. And it almost worked out, too.” 

“One foot from glory,” Whit Watson said. 

Shot two, stroke four. Watson’s 13 feet from the hole, but thick grass was defending the first foot. One thought would be a traditional putting stroke. But it would run into some interference.

Or …  

What about another side of the putter? Hmm. 

Watson rotated his putter head 90 degrees, poked it with the toe and made birdie. He’d finish with a three-under 68 and make the cut on the number. 

“Unconventional the whole way,” Byrum said. “Be interesting to know how many guys out here, 156 guys in the field, would have tried to slam it in the rough on the side of the hill on that third shot. And then how many of them would have tried to use the toe of their putter on the fourth shot.”

Though we won’t know for sure, it’s very likely one. 

Just Bubba.  

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.