Bubba Watson's Day 1 match comes to abrupt, bizarre finish with 18th hole bunker adventure

March 27, 2019

The 18th hole of the Bubba Watson-Kevin Na match on Thursday at the WGC-Dell Match Play featured a bit of everything. Well, everything except putts. There were differing strategies off the tee, great shots, club twirls, poor shots, and finally, a pick up. And a premature pick up at that.

It started with a booming Bubba drive on the 361-yard par 4 that nearly ran up on the green. Instead, Bubba's golf ball rolled down into a greenside bunker. The much shorter Kevin Na then stuck to his game plan, hitting an iron off the tee, and twirling for good measure. Remember, this is a man who loves to walk/run in three-foot birdie putts.

From there, Na hit a nice approach to about 12 feet, but Bubba still had the advantage. Until the VAGARIES of match play struck. Bubba hit his bunker shot a bit heavy and it rolled back into a worse lie in the sand. He quickly took another swipe and then was even quicker to scoop up his yellow ball as it rolled back toward him to end the match. Have a look:

Of course, Watson still could have made par had he holed his next shot. Or he could have gotten up and down to force Na to two-putt, but instead, the two-time Masters champ said nah to playing on. Na will play another Masters champ, Jordan Spieth, on Thursday, while Watson will take on Billy Horschel in the other Group 15 match. The player with the best record in each group after three days of round-robin matches advances to a 16-man, single-elimination bracket that begins on Saturday.