BMW Championships notebook: Watson celebrates partnership

Newtown Square, PA — Too often on the PGA TOUR, anniversaries are not celebrated but last week, Bubba Watson experienced the beginning of his 13th year with caddie Ted Scott on the bag.

Friday, Watson was given the chance to reflect on a partnership which has stood firm though the highest of highs to the lowest of lows after signing his BMW Championship scorecard for a 5-under par 65.

“Gosh, I would say with the 13 years there is a built friendship, the trust and we’re not talking about golf, we’re talking about off the golf course,” he said. “We all have struggles in life, well me and Teddy do, I don’t know about anybody else, so we bounce ideas off each other and try and sharpen each other. We try to make each other more solid as husbands, as dads and who cares about the golf? That’s the true thing that I’ve learned from him and enjoy with him.”

Given the range Watson’s TOUR career has covered, it is understandable in a player-caddie relationship that there can be challenging times and several pairs have broken off, but the left-hander and Scott remain a team.

“The most challenging thing has been listening to him,” said Watson. “He’s older, so he’s got more experience. Golf is an individual sport, so even in life I’ve always been to myself and try to figure things out by myself. Him talking to me and understanding that he is talking to me as a friend not as an enemy has been the challenge. The good part is that he hasn’t quit yet, so I still have a caddie on my bag, so it’s nice.”

When asked about a funny instance during their time as a duo, Scott offered the one time Watson ever got a bad time, which came at the 2015 playing of The Barclays in which Watson finished third.

“It was where a pin was in the very back and it has three tiers,” Watson recalled with a smile. “The golf course was soft, so if you land it by the hole, you can spin it all the way off the green which is 100 feet. A guy spun it and I waited for the ball to come down but the rules official started my clock even though the ball was still moving. I’ve never had a bad time, I’m a fast player so it was weird to me when he came to me and said ‘you have a bad time there’. I said ‘I had for the ball to stop rolling it spun all the way down the hill. You’re the one that set the course up.’ Not that one bad time in my life was going to affect me, but it was pretty funny.”

All in all, it is a partnership which was suggested by mutual friend and PGA TOUR golfer Ben Crane, which has well surpassed the two-week trial period, and thus far has resulted in 14 wins, two of which came at the Masters Tournament.

Finau matches Schauffele

Thursday, Xander Schauffele admitted that he would need to win to even be considered for the final Ryder Cup captain’s pick and his second-round 64 has put him in good position to do that, but there was one problem.

Finau also shot a 64 Friday which ties him for 12th place.

“I mean Tony obviously is the guy right now,”Schauffele said. “He’s not making it easy on anyone else trying to get on that team. So, you know, hats off to him for playing really well.”

Finau said the key to his success was realizing that he was playing well and has tried not to put any additional pressure on himself.

“I’m doing my best to control all that and control the possibilities of what could happen but from what I’ve learned in this game, you can’t look ahead,” said Finau. “I’m trying to just focus on now and control what I can and that’s just what’s going on here and right now.”

Notable tee times

There are several tee times which are worth following and here are some which include Ryder Cup pairings, a solo pairing and more.

Phil Mickelson 8:35 a.m.

Ian Poulter, Dustin Johnson 9:33 a.m.

Tyrrell Hatton, Bryson DeChambeau 10:40 a.m.

Jon Rahm, Henrik Stenson 11:30 a.m.

Tiger Woods, Ryan Armour 12:40 p.m.

Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas 1:30 p.m.

Xander Schauffele, Justin Rose 2:00 p.m.

Chris Pohl also assisted with this notebook

Author: Zac Weiss