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Notebook: Bubba Watson adds to list of Greenbrier supporters

Jul. 07, 2013 @ 11:42 PM

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Bubba Watson's first week-plus at The Greenbrier Resort ended Sunday.

Watson had to sit out a 3-plus hour weather delay Sunday to complete his final round in The Greenbrier Classic. When the field resumed play at 5 p.m., Watson headed to the par-5 17th hole on the Old White TPC golf course. He chipped on, then two-putted for par. He also got par on the par-3 18th and received a nice ovation from those fans who waited out the delay either in the bleachers or suites or on the hillside.

He shot a 1-under-par 69 for a 5-under 275 total. After a visit to the scoring room, Watson signed one more round of autographs while his caddy held the umbrella.

Watson said he had quite an experience at America's Resort. In commercials for The Greenbrier Sporting Club he was labeled a club member. He is looking at buying property on the grounds of The Greenbrier Resort.

"I would say it's about 99 (percent)," Watson said of his complete Greenbrier experience. "The atmosphere and everything was great. My golf was the one percent that's missing. The whole place is beautiful. I've looked at every hill in this property here, been around to Jim's (resort owner Jim Justice) other properties and goofed around.

"Me and my child (Caleb) went to the pool a lot, did the falconry, we fed the donkeys, fed the horses. We did everything you can possibly do. It's been a blast here and hopefully I look forward to coming back here and enjoying it and playing some better golf."

The delayed finish Sunday did mess with travel plans for some of the players. Some are headed to Silvis, Ill., for the John Deere Classic. Others are going across the Atlantic Ocean for the Scottish Open this week and British Open in two weeks.

Watson, 34th in the PGA Tour FedExCup standings, has some game issues to resolve before he heads to the British Open. Then it's off to the Canadian Open in another busy four-week stretch.

"I'm just frustrated. The whole week I played really good," Watson said. "I think I hit. ... averaged about 78 percent of my fairways, 75 percent of my fairways all week so for me that's pretty good. I made too many mistakes. I'm looking forward to the rest of the year. I'm playing great."

Fans enjoyed watching Watson's power game off the tee. He averaged 308.4 on 56 drives and 316.1 for the ones termed official.

WEATHER DELAY: PGA Tour officials halted play Sunday at 1:50 p.m. because of dangerous weather in the Greenbrier Valley area. At 4:24 p.m., the driving range was re-opened in anticipation for a 5 p.m. return to play. In all, it was a 3-hour, 8-minute weather delay.

The delay was the 15th on the PGA Tour this year and the sixth for a round on Sunday.

FAMILIAR FACES: John Norton, former Huntington resident and Marshall University graduate, took in the action Sunday. He's now head pro and general manager at Pete Dye Golf Club at Virginia Tech. Former major league pitcher Rick Reed and friend Vance Bunn of Huntington and family members also checked out play.

I WANT THAT: On the par-5 12th hole, Bubba Watson's drive sailed wide left into the rough. He laid up with a short iron. He moved a hefty piece of turf with the shot. A fan remarked, "This is a great story. This is Bubba's divot."

David Walsh is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or dwalsh@herald-dispatch.com.

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