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Bubba Watson struggles with focus, not game

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Bubba Watson has every shot in the bag. He just may not have the required patience and self-restraint to hit them all the time.

"My goal every week is just to stay focused," he said Thursday after shooting a 6-under 66 to finish a shot behind leaders Sean O'Hair, Rod Pampling and Nick O'Hern in the opening round of the Memorial. "I'm not worried about hitting shots."

Watson hates to wait or kill time - two things professional golfers have to do 18 holes at a time. He'd prefer to do something, anything, other than just standing around.

For Watson, patience is certainly not a virtue.

"Going out there for five hours, I can't sit still," Watson said. "When I'm at home, on my week off I play golf with everybody back home. I might go out there for 36 holes. I've got to do something. I'll go play basketball, play tennis. I just get bored, so going out there in the heat and waiting on the group in front of us - I've got a weak mind, I guess. I've got other thoughts going through my head, like what movie I'm going to watch tonight. Just random stuff."

One of the longest hitters on tour, Watson is off to a strong start this season. He has four top-10 finishes this year and ranks 29th on the money list. He's already made more money than he did all of last season, when he finished 90th on the list as a rookie.

When his mind wanders, Watson takes chances.

For instance, a year ago in his first trip to the Memorial, he was 5 over for the tournament when he came to the 14th hole on Saturday. Now the 14th is a simple hole, a long iron off the tee and a wedge to the narrow green which is surrounded by bunkers and water.

Yet Watson pulled out driver on the 363-yard hole. And he drove the green.

"That was just immature stuff compared to now," he said. "I'd already made the cut, so I figured why not get somebody to remember who I am?"

Mission accomplished. The gallery went wild when it realized that someone had driven the green. After accepting applause at the green, he two-putted for the birdie.

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