Different Strokes: Bubba Watson opens up in new book

American discusses mental health issues; Sergio Garcia expands his repertoire

Bubba Watson has discussed his mental health issues in a new book. Photograph: Gregory Shamus/Getty

Bubba Watson opens up in new book

In fairness to Bubba Watson, he has always been extremely honest when it comes to mental health issues, both for himself and the wider impact through professional golf and in sport generally.

So it is that he has visited the topic in a new book - “Up and Down: Victories and Struggles in the Course of Life” written along with Don Yaeger (published by Nelson Publishing) - where, he recalls, at one point his stress levels led to him requiring medication just to get on an airplane because he felt he was going to have a heart attack.

In an extract of the book on PGATour.com, Watson reveals that he went through a stage during the 2017 season when every bad shot was, in his mind, confirmation that he just wasn’t good enough to compete any more. Also at that time, in an effort to put back on weight which he had been losing, he started drinking high-calorie smoothies a couple of times a day.

But he also found solace in his faith. As he described it, “I got stronger and deeper into the word of God. I began a new prayer: ‘Lord, if you’re going to take me, I want you to take me. But I want to live every day being the best husband and the best dad that I can be. I love the game of golf and I believe that you gave me the talent to play it. So just let me enjoy the moments that I have left here on this earth’.”


Sergio Garcia expands his repertoire

Sergio Garcia still has a lot going on with his day job (as he showed with a top 10 finish in the World Wide Technology Championship) but the Spaniard is also keen to branch out further in his golf course design business.

Already with his name to Qinhuangdao Golf Club on the eastern Chinese coast, a three hour drive from Beijing, built in association with his design team at IMG and with strong links characteristics, Garcia also acted as player’s consultant to Greg Norman on the PGA Tour course at San Antonio.

Next up, will be a new Garcia design - at Mayakoba Country Club - in Mexico. As he put it, “I’m excited for my first course design in Latin America to be set (in Mayakoba) in such a naturally beautiful area . . . we’ll work hard to deliver a golf course that complements the stunning beauty of the Rivera Maya and we already look forward to the result.”

Word of Mouth

“That was a joke, for sure!” - Viktor Hovland of the banter with his caddie Shay Knight as they walked down the 18th fairway en route to victory in the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba when he quipped that James Hahn might also be deserving of 10 percent of the winnings. Hahn had come to Hovland’s rescue pre-tournament by giving him his back-up driver after the Norwegian’s own driver snapped when Danny Lee asked could he use it on the range. Hovland’s successful defence of the title moved him to 10th in the updated official world rankings.

By the Numbers

2,100,000,000 - That's the amount in US dollars - $2.1 billion - which Tiger Woods is reported to have made in inflation-adjusted career earnings by Sportico, a digital sports business publication. The amount had Woods trailing only basketball legend Michael Jordan ($2.62b) among sports figures through their careers.

Twitter Twaddle

Got to spend quite a lot of time with Viktor at this year's Ryder Cup - the guy is an absolute stud. Great personality and a flusher! He's world class - Luke Donald tipping the cap to Viktor Hovland after the Norwegian's successful defence in Mayakoba.

Actual conversation at dinner tonight: Me: I think I'm gonna play the Masters next year. Jacob, you think you'd be able to caddie for me? Jacob: I think I can handle 2 rounds - Trevor Immelman of how his teenager son Jacob responded to the possibility of bag carrying at Augusta National come the Masters in April. The Springbok has an exemption from his 2008 win and last played in 2019 (when he made the cut having missed the previous five years).

I was +4 through my first nine holes this week, but I stayed committed to my process and was able to work my way up to a top ten finish. Patience pays off! Let's keep it going next week! - Victor Perez on bouncing back from a hat-trick of missed cuts with a tied-8th finish in the Portugal Masters.

On this day

9th November 1997 - A little before Annika, there was Lotta. And Liselotte Neumann - the first Swedish player, male or female, to win a Major championship when she lifted the 1988 US Open - proved to be a something of a global traveller throughout her honour-laden career.

In 1997, Neumann played in the Toray Queens Cup at Seta Golf Course in Shiga, Japan - a dual-badge tournament on the LPGA Tour and the JLPGA Tour - where she birdied the final hole for a winning total of 11-under-par 205, a stroke clear of Canada’s Lorie Kane.

In the Bag

Thomas Pieters

Portugal Masters

Driver - Titleist TSi2 (10 degrees)

3-wood - TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)

7-wood - TaylorMade SIM2 Max (21 degrees)

Irons - Titleist 620CB (4), Titleist 620MB (5-9)

Wedges - Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (46 and 56 degrees), Titleist Vokey Design 2021 Prototype (58 degrees)

Putter - Scotty Cameron TourType SSS SB-2

Ball - Titleist ProV1

Know the Rules

Q - In playing a round on a windy day, Player A takes out a handkerchief with the sole purpose of holding it in the air to see which direction the wind is blowing. Is the player in breach of any rule for doing so?

A - Rule 4.3a(2) gives a single example of an artificial object not allowed to get wind-related information (powder to assess wind direction). However, other artificial objects must not be used for the sole purpose of getting wind-related information and, in using the handkerchief for such a purpose, Player A is in violation of the rule.