DUBLIN, Ohio – For Bubba Watson this time is different.
Following his first Masters victory in 2012, Watson missed two of his next three cuts and needed nearly two years to win again on the PGA Tour.
This time, however, Watson is suffering no Masters hangover, tying for 48th at The Players earlier this month and grabbing a share of the early lead on Day 1 at the Memorial following an opening 66.
“It’s a learning process of how to be a Masters champion, how to deal with the pressures of that and also the pressures of being a dad for the first time,” he said. “Right now I’m handling it, and I understand what it takes to be a dad and husband.”
Watson was 4 under through his first six holes following an eagle at the par-5 15th hole, but carded back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17 (he started on No. 10). He rebounded to close his round with three consecutive birdies for a share of the lead.
Watson’s 66 tied his lowest round at Muirfield Village, which he also shot on Day 1 in 2007, and left him tied with Paul Casey and Chris Kirk.