PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Bubba Watson could have pulled up his tent stakes and mailed it in on Friday.
Instead, he shot the secoond-best score of the day with a 6-under-66 and made the weekend after all at TPC Sawgrass, a course he freely admits scares the bejeesus out of him.
Watson, riding high with two wins this season, skied to a 4-over 76 in the first round of the Players Championship, leaving him miles outside the projected cut. Instead of going through the motions, he made six birdies and played a bogey-free round.
"Yesterday was all putting," he groused. "My putting sucked. The greens get to me here -- they are so grainy. That's why I moved out of Florida. That's the difference [between the two rounds]."
Watson was asked whether he might have mentally checked out in the past after such a poor opening round, and strongly disagreed with that sentiment.
"I would never mail it in," he said. "I have improved. But I have improved mentally the most. That was just a perfect round of golf, for me."