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Bubba's 'secret' helps him to a first-round 69

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Bubba Watson has a secret. He’s not saying exactly what it is, but it helped him to the only bogey-free round on the Masters opening day, a 3-under 69.

“I don't want to give my secret, but I'm trying to just hit greens,” said Watson, who won this tournament two years ago. “Today I missed two greens. I missed one by six inches, missed one by three feet. I putted both of those, made pars. So I'm just trying to hit greens. If I can hit greens that means I've hit good tee shots and I hit good iron shots, and just trying to make par from there and throw in a birdie here and there. And that's what I did today.”

Watson said he felt emboldened by not having to return as the champion, as he did a year ago.

“For me, it was just overwhelming - the Champions Dinner, everybody still congratulating you - so I just never got the focus. I played really bad on Sunday last year. Yeah, I'm coming back with the take that I want the jacket again. I'm coming back with a different mindset, full of energy. I haven't had any media this week, because nobody cares about the guy a couple of years ago. So it's been good.”

Watson will enter the second round in a three-way share of second place, just one stroke behind leader Bill Haas.