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Bubba Watson's driver head flies off, misses DJ and (unfortunately?) Brooks Koepka

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Bubba Watson' tee shot on the par-4 second found the fairway and his driver head went along for the ride.

Watson's pink driver head snapped at impact. Watson was able to not only control his swing and put his ball into the fairway, but also hit it 295 yards and he made birdie on the hole, his 11th of the day.

"It's the shaft right above the hosel. It's cracked, broke, whatever you want to call it," Watson said following his 4-under 66, which gave him the lead on Friday, adding that it's not the first time he's snapped a driver head.

"Nobody has ever been hit by it, and luckily DJ [playing competitor Dustin Johnson] was just out of the way and it didn't reach the crowd, so nobody got hurt, hit. Nobody in my group knew where the ball was. Once you hit, you're focused on where the driver head goes."

Bubba's ball finding the fairway was impressive, but if Watson was really accurate, his driver head would have found its target.

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"If I was going to hit anybody I was hoping it would be Brooks [Koepka]. But I missed him, though. Not that good of an aimer," Watson said.

"It's one of those things that happened before and I always have a back up. They brought me the back up two holes later and I played with that the rest of the day."

Under the new Rules of Golf, Watson was able to replace the club during the round as it was damaged during the natural course of play.

Under Rule 4.1:

  • A player is allowed to keep using and/or to repair any club damaged during the round, no matter what the damage and even if the player damaged it in anger.
  • A player is not allowed to replace a damaged club, except when it is damaged during the round by an outside influence or natural forces or by someone other than the player or his or her caddie.

Watson, a three-time winner of this event, reached 6 under par with his birdie at No. 2 to get within one of the lead. He added three more birdies and a bogey to finish at 8 under par.

He's a shot back of leader Jason Day entering the weekend.