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Home Bubba hopes to have his head in the game this week

To some critics, golf doesn’t have many characters. Bubba Watson isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind or for that matter, stick with his unique approach to the game. Golf offers many challenges and in Bubba’s case, he might have a few more. “ I've got issues,” he acknowledged before play even starts. “I've got issues in my head,” he repeated when questioned about playing more conservatively. “It's something I've never done. It's just I have to learn that. I've done it in some places, but I have to really focus and concentrate more when it comes to that, really get my targets and my irons off the tees to make sure that I'm playing safe,” he explained. 

The weather forecast is the big story in advance of play, as it typically is with an Open Championship. Rain is forecast each day and it will be part of the challenges facing players when they begin pursuit of the Claret Jug at Royal Lytham and St Annes. “Well, nobody wants to play in those conditions. You'd rather it be sunny and perfect,” said the Masters champ. “When the weather gets that bad, you've just got to make pars, and sometimes bogeys are good. It's whoever can control their mind and not get frustrated about the weather and the situation. No matter where they're from, everybody has got to deal with this weather. It's not whether you've played in the rain more than somebody else. It's just about calming your mind and knowing it's going to be difficult,” said the man who recognizes he has his issues in his head. “You've got to hit fairways around here so you can control your next shot, your shot into greens, because it's so demanding around with all these pot bunkers around the green, so you've got to try to execute and miss the greens on the right side. So it's something I'm going to have to really work on, different mindset, different game plan.”

For Watson the challenge internally may be slightly different than for others, but golf has a way of finding all player’s pressure points. “When I focus right, I play pretty good, and when I don't focus right, I miss the cut pretty quick,” Watson stated.