RIO DE JANEIRO — Bubba Watson overcame a bizarre putting mistake during the third-round of the Olympic Golf Course, stubbing a putt on the 14th hole when he was distracted by what he thought was a bug behind his ball.
In fact, it was mud that had fallen from the back of his putter as Watson took his backstroke; he tried to stop, recoiled, and ended up hitting the putt about 6 feet. He was originally 35 feet from the hole.
“It was hilarious,” said Watson, who ended up 3-putting the par-3 green for a bogey. “What can you do? It was one of those freak things. You have to laugh it off and keep going. That’ll be talked about for years.”
Watson said when he took his stroke, the mud fell off and “it scared me. I tried to stop.”
That bogey derailed a strong round that saw him get within a few strokes of the lead. He followed with a bogey at the 15th as well, then saved a solid par at the 16th after leaving himself an 8-footer. Watson then made birdie at the 17th and finished with a 4-under-par 67, getting into the top 5.
Through 54 holes, Watson is tied for fourth, but 6 strokes back of leader Justin Rose.