Mummy's boy Watson leads in NOLA

One stroke lead for the American and Australian

Fri, 29 Apr 2011
Mummy's boy Watson leads in NOLA

Bubba Watson admitted he is only playing at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans as a favour to his mother – and will go into today’s second-round as co-leader.

“My mom really wanted me to come,” said the American. “My mom always comes to this golf tournament, so when my mom says she wants to come, I’m here. And somehow I shot 6-under today.”

Australian Matt Jones chipped in from 60-feet at his final hole to share the opening round lead with Watson.

The pair shot 66 to top the leaderboard, while six players, including Swede Carl Pettersson, are a stroke behind at 5-under.

Luke Donald is two shots back at 4-under while Graeme McDowell is 1-over. Justin Rose had a day to forget, finishing with a 5-over 77.

Donald, who has a chance to become world number one for the third successive week if he wins the PGA Tour event, had a bogey-free opening round and fired himself into contention with a couple of birdies in his final two holes.

Jones, who began his round at ten, sank eight birdies, including a run of four in a row that began at the par-four 16th and narrowly missed out on a fifth at the second.

“I had a lip-out on two for birdie, which would have been nice,” said the 31-year-old, yet to win a Tour title. “I had a lot of putts going in from distance. It was a nice change. It has been a while.”

Watson holed a 32-foot putt at 11 for his eagle after following his 343-yard drive with 237-yard six-iron to the green.

“It was downwind,” he smiled, after admitting the Louisiana was not his favourite track to play. “The way the course is, it just doesn’t fit my eye. It’s a great layout. For me, it’s just not one that I want to play every day.

“But it just worked out. I hit my driver really well. I’ve been hitting it good all year, but I made some putts and hit some good iron shots and somehow came out six-under.”