RIO DE JANEIRO – Mud balls are a common problem in golf, but on Saturday at the Olympics Bubba Watson may have been the first to endure a “mud putter.”
Watson was cruising along at 5 under for the day when he hit his tee shot to 35 feet at the par-3 14th hole. After going through his normal routine of determining the line and taking his practice strokes, the American settled in over his ball and began his backstroke.
That’s when things got interesting.
“As I putted, I just looked at the video, you can't see it, but as soon as I putted, my caddie and the other caddie that was next to him, you could see, it was just about half a quarter-size piece of mud [fell off the face of putter],” said Watson, who hit his putt just 6 feet.
“So as soon as I took it back it fell, so I tried to stop, and you could see me recoil, trying to stop, because I didn't know what it was. I thought it could have been a bee or a bug.”
Watson would three-putt the hole for bogey and add another bogey at the 15th before finishing his day with a birdie at No. 17 for his second-consecutive 67 that left him tied for fourth place at 6 under par.
Although the left-hander has a history of letting untimely miscues derail him during a round, Watson said he didn’t dwell on the incident.
“We laughed about it because I was like, man, I'm going to be famous now. I'm going to be a legend in Olympic history, in Olympic golf history,” he said.