Two-time winner Bubba Watson loves Riviera
Bubba Watson once said that a successful career would be winning 10 times. And he wasn’t just talking about tournaments at Riviera Country Club.
The two-time Masters champion will be at the course in Pacific Palisades this year to defend his title at what is now known as the Genesis Open. The long-hitting lefty will try to make it three victories in four years, in addition to getting that 10th title on the PGA Tour.
Watson loves Riviera because it requires creativity.
“You can hit shots around here; you can use your imagination,” he said of the layout. “I hit some big hooks, I hit some big slices, and it works out. The key around here is just making your putts.”
Watson’s caddie, Ted Scott, said the undulating greens at Riviera bring out a youthful side of his boss.
“Bubba loves fast and tricky green complexes, especially at places like Augusta and Riviera,” said Scott, who has been with Watson for 10 years. “They bring out the kid in him. He’s so creative and doesn’t leave as many putts short because of the green speeds.”
Watson also likes that players don’t have to be near the lead after early rounds in order to win.
“It’s one of those courses where you can get hot and, if you just make the cut and get out there and get hot, you never know,” he said. “You can move up the leaderboard pretty quickly. That’s why that golf course is so demanding – that you can move up real fast or back real fast.”
Watson also likes that Riviera’s rough isn’t penal, so even when off the fairway there’s a chance to go at greens.
“When that golf course is firm and fast, it’s about angles because the rough isn’t really that thick,” he said. “You can play from the rough; I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m just saying it’s not as thick as a U.S. Open.”