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The Tour Report
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March 14 2012

6:35 PM

Bubba-long, new bellies and brackets

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Stan Badz/PGA TOUR
Bubba Watson has a big lead early in driving distance on the PGA TOUR.

By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM

Bubba Watson came up just short in his bid to win the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, but that’s about the only way to get “Bubba Watson” and “short” in the same breath.

Watson is leading the PGA TOUR in driving distance through the first 10 weeks of the season, and there’s not a close second. Watson is averaging 316.1 yards per drive, nearly nine yards ahead of Robert Garrigus (check out the full list here ).

At Doral, Watson and his all-pink G20 were, well, monstrous at TPC Blue Monster, with 37 drives of 300 yards or longer and a field-leading average of 318.4 yards. For the season, more than 62 percent of Watson’s drives have sailed more than 300 yards.

Should the Florida panhandle native hold on to his top spot, it would be the first time he’s led the stat since a three-year run as the TOUR’s longest driver from 2006-08. He was second in 2009 and 2010 to Robert Garrigus, and second to J.B. Holmes last season.

BELLYING UP: Thomas Bjorn used a belly putter for the first time in his career at WGC-Cadillac, an Odyssey White Hot XG No. 1 Protype Blade. He opened with two 68s before a 75-71 weekend left him in a tie for 24th.

Darren Clarke also had a belly in competition for the first time, a TaylorMade Ghost Spider.

TWEAKS: Phil Mickelson had new shafts, Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana a’hina 70x, in his Callaway Razr Fit driver and Big Bertha Diablo 3-wood. … Noted hybrid fan Y.E. Yang had a TaylorMade RBZ 3-wood in the bag at Doral, a 13-degree model to try to stay under the strong winds. … After switching to TaylorMade’s Tour Preferred MC irons in the offseason, Dustin Johnson returned to Tour Preferred MB irons – his 2011 sticks – at WGC-Cadillac.

HOOP IT UP: Think you’ve got the NCAA Tournament figured out? Golfweek has a contest awarding golf gear like a Rickie Fowler-signed hat to the best bracket. Check it out here .

WINNERS’ BAGS: Justin Rose at the WGC-Cadillac Championship:
Driver: TaylorMade R11, 8 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade RBZ, 15 degrees
Hybrid: TaylorMade Rescue 11, 19 degrees 
Irons: TaylorMade MB 4-PW 
Wedges: TaylorMade ATV, 52, 56 degrees; Cleveland 588, 60 degrees 
Putter: TaylorMade Ghost Tour Corza
Ball: TaylorMade Penta TP5

George McNeill at the Puerto Rico Open:
Driver: Cleveland Launcher Ultralite TL 310, 9.5 degrees
Fairway woods: Titleist 906F2 3-wood, 15 degrees; 5-wood, 18 degrees
Irons: Cleveland 588 Forged MB, 3-PW 
Wedges: Cleveland 588 Forged, 54, 60 degrees 
Putter: Nike Method 001
Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV

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