No longer playing 'scared,' Watson back in contention on Day 2

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AVONDALE, La. – Thursday night at dinner, Bubba Watson said, somewhat jokingly, that after his 1-over opening round, he could shoot 65-65-65 the rest of the way and give himself a realistic chance to win the Zurich Classic.

Well, step one complete.

The 2011 champion shot the low round of the day Friday, a 7-under 65 that vaulted him all the way to T-12, six shots behind Lucas Glover.

The biggest difference between Rounds 1 and 2, Watson said, was that he “played really scared” on Thursday. It’s not unusual – he was worried more about the results and not necessarily the execution of the shot.

“If anybody’s telling you they’re not scared at some point during the round, then they’re lying to you and they’re trying to be tough,” he said. “Their mental coach told them to be tougher than me, I guess.”

In a playful mood after his second round, Watson also gave an entertaining answer when asked about Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old who made the cut at both the Masters and here in New Orleans.

“At 14, he’s not trying to pay his house off, you know? He’s living off his parents,” Watson said. “It’s one of those things where he doesn’t understand what’s going on right now. I mean, he does understand, but he doesn’t have the bad thoughts.

“You know, at 34 years old, I’ve hit enough bad shots where now I get to worry about them. But he doesn’t see that yet. Right now, this is his first time in the tournament, and he’s enjoying every minute of it. I am too, but I worry. He’s 14. He doesn’t worry yet.”