Bubba Watson picks up ball, concedes match as a substitute of attempting to gap shot

Bubba Watson was 2 up with six to play versus Kevin Na within the first round-robin match of the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play on Wednesday, however the defending champ let the victory slip away.

The notoriously fiery Watson truly had a possibility to maintain himself alive within the match on 18, however he elected to select up his ball from the bunker and concede to Na.

However let’s again up first. Watson was 2 up earlier than Na received three straight holes to take a 1-up lead with three to play. Watson squared the match with a birdie on 16, and so they each made birdie on 17 to move to the ultimate gap all sq..

Watson, one of many longest hitters on Tour, almost drove the par-Four 18th inexperienced and ended up within the bunker wanting it. Na, in the meantime, laid up. From 109 yards behind Watson, Na knocked his second shot to 10 toes away, placing the stress on Watson within the green-side bunker. That’s the place the difficulty began.

Watson’s first shot from the sand acquired caught within the tough and rolled again in. His third shot was on the identical path, however earlier than his ball had an opportunity to fall again into the bunker he picked it as much as concede the 1-up win to Na.

Golf is difficult.

Bunker struggles for Bubba.

Kevin Na wins 1 UP.

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 27, 2019

“He’s gonna decide it up, what?!” stated Nick Faldo on the Golf Channel telecast, perplexed. “You’re down there with the benefit [off the tee] and you might be in your pocket.”

Whereas it’s unlikely Watson would have holed his third bunker shot to save lots of a Four and make par — he nonetheless would have wanted Na to overlook his birdie putt to halve the match — there nonetheless was an opportunity, one he didn’t take. (Jordan Spieth holed out from the sand earlier within the day.)

“Him having the ability to drive this inexperienced, I really feel like I’m at a bit of little bit of an obstacle, however then I utilized the stress inside 10 toes with a wedge,” Na stated. “And he acquired a bit of unfortunate with numerous sand in that bunker there.”

Watson may have a tricky time advancing out of group play with a loss already on his file. His second round-robin match is at 11:04 a.m. ET on Thursday versus Billy Horschel, who halved his first match in opposition to Spieth on Wednesday.

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