PINEHURST, N.C. | Bubba Watson is backing off.
That’s his plan, anyway, for attacking Pinehurst No. 2 when the U.S. Open begins Thursday.
Watson said he intends to throttle back his famous power to increase his chances of playing from No. 2’s fairways rather than the rugged and ragged natural areas off the sides.
“It’s all about the tee shots,” Watson said. “I’m going to lay farther back that normal because it’s still iffy hitting in that … I don’t know what they’re calling it, rough, dirt, sand.
“So I’m going to lay back and have a lot longer shots into the holes. For me, it’s the second shots that are going to matter the most. I don’t see many birdies around here.”
Watson cited the 16th hole as an example of the Pinehurst challenge. A par-5 converted into a 528-yard par-4, Watson said he hit a 295-yard tee shot in his practice round and was left with a 247-yard second shot.
“For me to hit a driver and have a 3-iron into a par-4, it’s a fun golf course,” he said. “It wears you down mentally.”