Defending champion Bubba Watson energized ahead of WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play


Bubba Watson returns to Austin Country Club and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event in Texas this week as the defending champion.

Watson, who finished T4 at the Valspar Championship, appears ready to meet the challenge of repeating on the PGA Tour and the burden of round-robin play over three days.

“I feel good. This my fourth week in a row trying to play into some better spots. Trying to get the ball striking where I want it to be and working on this arm-lock putting,” Watson said in a pre-tournament press conference Tuesday. “Inside 10 feet it feels like it’s getting a lot better.”

Watson said he’s working on learning more about statistics when it comes to improving his game.

“I’m trying to look at top 10s and why players come in top 10s in certain tournaments,” he said. “This week, stats are misleading because it’s one-on-one.”

Watson has reached the Sweet 16 stage of this event five times and the final four twice. He beat Justin Thomas in the semifinals last year and thumped Kevin Kisner 7&6 to win the championship.

Earlier this week, Watson said he’d prefer not to have a Match Play event on the PGA Tour schedule.

“I vote every year not to have Match Play because I feel like I have a better chance in 72 holes than I do in individual (matches),” Watson said at the Valspar Championship. “Because we have seen every year a guy shoot in the 60s and lose, and then we see a guy shoot in the 70s and win. And it’s like, wait a second, how fair is this?”

Watson Tuesday also spoke about his spot on the Presidents Cup as both a potential player and vice captain. Watson said last year he’d rather be a vice captain than a player.

Tuesday he seemed to be intent on performing both roles at Royal Melbourne in Australia this December.

He said he’ll use the WGC-Dell as an opportunity to get Presidents Cup points and to scout Group 15 playing partners Jordan Spieth, Billy Horschel and Kevin Na as potential Team USA entrants.

“I didn’t want to let this out of the bag, but I’m really thinking I’m going to vice captain of the Presidents Cup team. Don’t tell the captain (Tiger Woods) yet,” Watson said. “It’s perfect. I get to watch these great players and I hope they get to make the team.”

You can watch his entire press conference below.

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