By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Now that Michael Phelps’ record-setting career in the pool is seemingly over, he’ll focus on other things, like playing golf with good friend Bubba Watson.
“Bubba said I'm a good swimmer but still terrible at golf,” said Phelps, who ended his Olympic career with 22 medals -- more than any Olympian in history -- including 18 golds. “So maybe I'll challenge him to swimming and we can go on a golf course after that, that will be (all) my competitive swimming after I'm done.”
Though the two have never met, they have become fast friends in recent weeks with Watson and Phelps exchanging phone numbers and texting back and forth, even as Phelps pursued his place in Olympics history. They also follow one another on Twitter.
“He likes the way I play golf, sort of natural and free,” Watson said. “I’ve texted him quite a bit, even during the Olympics. I told him sorry, but I wanted to know this and that.”
As for who would be better at the other’s respective sport?
“I believe in my swimming ability,” Watson said. “I grew up on the beach, so I should be able to swim. I have to think he’s a terrible golfer.”
For now, though, Watson will turn his attention to the PGA Championship, where he’s trying to win his second major of the year and his career after capturing the Masters in April.
“That first one, what I learned from myself is that I can do it,” Watson said. “The more I play in tournaments I'm going to feel the pressure and what it takes to play good at those tournaments. Coming down the stretch on Sundays I know I can lean on that saying that I've done it before, I can do it again.”
That worked pretty well for Phelps, too.