Bubba Watson.
Bubba Watson. Nicholas Falconer

Bubba fatigued but on the ball

BUBBA Watson admitted to being "dead tired", but the big-hitting American still managed to fire an opening round five-under-par 67 in the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum yesterday.

Watson was just a stroke behind leaders J.W. Choi and the Sunshine Coast's Steven Bowditch after carding six birdies and a bogey, but the 33-year-old cut a fatigued and somewhat forlorn figure - perhaps feeling the effects after the stresses of the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne a week ago.

"I'm not fresh, I'm dead tired. Then I woke up at 5.10am this morning. I'm just beat," he said.

"You just try to fight through it. I could come out exhausted and shoot 80 (today), you never know."

"Right now I am dead tired. I am not going to practise or anything afterwards. As soon as I am done with you (media) I am going home."

Watson appears to be simply going through the motions at Coolum but if he is, then he is doing it in impressive fashion.

Starting on the back nine, he broke through with a birdie on the par-five 12th before salvaging a remarkable par on the par-four 13th.

Watson produced one of his trademark booming drives off the tee, but the ball blazed into the trees at the back of a dog-leg.

There was little room for error when he fashioned a neat shot out of the undergrowth and on to the green, where he two-putted for par.

Watson then struck two precise mid-irons to bag birdies on the par-four 16th and par-four 17th holes.

A bogey on the par-five third was forgotten when he claimed a string of three birdies on six, seven and eight.

Watson refused to get carried away with the promising opening round performance.

"I had some bad breaks but I had some good breaks, so that was pretty good," he said.

"I couldn't expect more than that (score) with the way that I hit it.

"I putted really well. You know I missed some putts, but I hit them really well. I just rolled the ball really well and that was the key for me."

He did not believe his Presidents Cup campaign had done much to instil him with self-belief for the Coolum event.

"I lost my last two matches (out of five), so I didn't have much confidence coming in, " he said.

"Our team won and we were confident, but me, I didn't do anything special to have a lot of confidence."

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