Bubba Watson hopes to find his drive in China

Dethronement at Master spurs Texan on for Shenzhen International

Bubba Watson will look to make amends for a disappointing defence of his Masters title by claiming a second European Tour title in China.

Watson won the WGC-HSBC Champions in dramatic fashion on his last visit to the country in November, holing a bunker shot for an eagle on the 18th to get into a play-off.

The left-hander then holed from 20 feet for birdie on the same hole to defeat South African Tim Clark.

Long journey

Watson made the long journey east after finishing 38th at Augusta National, where he had been hoping to become just the fourth man after


Jack Nicklaus


Tiger Woods


Nick Faldo

to successfully defend the Masters.

“I went there with high expectations and I just didn’t make any putts,” the world number four told a press conference ahead of the Shenzhen International at Genzon Golf Club. “That’s what changes your round, your week.

“And then Jordan (Spieth) played unbelievable golf, he was the first person ever to get 19 under and made all his putts. It just shows that’s how you win golf tournaments, by making crucial putts at the right time.”

Watson also believes he will need his driver to be working this week after getting his first look at the host venue on Tuesday.

“I played all 18 holes yesterday, and I have to say, the second is one of the tightest holes I’ve seen with the trees,” Watson said. “Off the tee, this golf course is very demanding. You need to position it in the right spots and then the greens are going to be tricky because of the undulation. It’s about green speed.

‘Looking forward’

“So it’s going to be tough, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and hope to have a chance on the weekend, that’s why I’m here.”

There are for Irish players competing at Shenzhen International with Damien McGrane, Michael Hoey, Peter Lawrie and Kevin Phelan all taking part.