Waste Management Phoenix Open. Y.E. and Bubba Share Lead. January 30 2014
Y.E. Yang and Bubba Watson / Getty Images
Bubba said right now he is in a good spot, not too nervous, after shooting an opening round of -7 under 64;“If you look at my career, from junior golf, to college golf, to mini tours to now the Web.com Tour, to the PGA TOUR, I got to a level and I got out of my comfort zone. I get comfortable, and then I step up a new level and I get nervous again. Hopefully I'm at a stepping-stone where I've learned, now if I win a few more, I get nervous again. Right now I'm in a good spot.” "This golf course, if your ball-striking is good, you can shoot some good numbers here. Hit a lot of greens, didn't make too many mistakes, didn't miss too many fairways. Just played solid." Through an interpreter Y.E. announced he is going to be aggressive; "I think you have to be aggressive, at the same time, you can't be too aggressive. You have to really balance it out, but you still have to be a little bit more aggressive than other tournaments." There are seven players tied in third place at -6 under par, all carding first rounds of 65, they are; Pat Perez, Kevin Stadler, Matt Jones, Harris English, William McGirt, Greg Chalmers and Chris Kirk. Harris actually birdied Nos. 12 thru 15 to top the leaderboard at -8 under par, but then followed that with bogey's at the par-3 16th, the rowdy stadium hole, where he hit an 8-iron over the green on the 178-yard hole. Then the par-4 18th, he said he was a little over the top on the par 3 tee; "I guess I was a little juiced up on that tee, I left myself with an impossible up-and-down." TPC Scottsdale's favorite player, Phil Mickleson, opened with an even par round of 71, and a long way back for this favorite son. Phil thinks the same as me, he just loves playing here; "It's fun to be back here, I love playing here. I wasn't as sharp as I need to be, for sure. Playing the last five holes at three over, that was really bad. Fifteen really stung, it was only a twelve or fifteen footer, and I am thinking eagle. I roll it 6 feet by and I miss it coming back. That was costly. I got off to a poor start, played a couple over, and finished poorly. In the middle of the round, though, I hit a lot of good shots and had a good little run, but it just wasn't quite sharp. I wasn't quite focused on every shot the way I need to be and let way too many shots slide." Phil also reported that his troublesome back is now in fine shape; "It's fine, honestly, it's no big deal, it was a five-minute fix. I just have to be careful for a week or two as it heals up. It's fine. Mobility is back. It's just not a big deal. It happens every now and then. Last time was about four years ago."