Bubba Watson has opened up about his mental health struggles in an interview with the PGA Tour before shooting a level par opening round at the Genesis Open at Riviera.
The 42-year-old has won 12 times on the PGA Tour, including the Gensis Open when he claimed the title in 2018. Watson has also won The Masters twice, firstly in 2012 and again in 2014.
Watson, who has spoken about his mental health struggles in the past, has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and suffers from anxiety issues.
Although he is one of the biggest characters on the PGA Tour, Watson says that he struggles in large crowds and in some social settings he can feel self-conscious and judged.
WATCH BUBBA HIT 262 FEET OF CURVE WITH HIS TEE SHOT DOWN THE 1ST HOLE YESTERDAY IN THE VIDEO BELOW:
The shot-shaping wizard started well at Riviera on Thursday and mixed four birdies with four bogeys on his way to a level par round of 71, but prior to the opening round, Watson spoke about the progress he has made with his mental health.
"In the past there were times I've slipped up and people have blasted me, people have made fun of me and it definitely is hurtful," Watson told Pgatour.com.
"The big thing for me now is I'm accepting it more. One of the many problems was I held things in for so long that it hurt me. It hurt when people would write things about me without knowing me.
"Now I'm at a point where I can say let's just talk about it. I don't need to hide that I'm a man who sometimes cries. I'm a man with issues just like everybody else. There's ups and downs to life, no matter if you're a Tour golfer or a person that nobody ever sees.
"It's OK to not be OK sometimes."
Two years ago, Watson was hospitalised after his panic attacks led him to believe he was suffering a heart attack.
"I thought I was going to die, and my mental issues had a good hold on me for a while," Watson added. "I went down to 162 pounds (11st 8lbs) and then I quit checking my weight because it was also stressing me out. But I fought out of it and came back from it."