Watson has defied the golfing odds to become a double major champion  (©GettyImages)
Watson has defied the golfing odds to become a double major champion (©GettyImages).

Bubba Watson unaffected by style critics

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Bubba Watson has shrugged off some harsh criticism of his swing from golfing legends Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus as he prepares to contend for next week's US Open. 

The 35-year-old sealed his second Masters title in three years when he saw off young compatriot Jordan Spieth at Augusta in April. Despite being a double major champion, Nicklaus and the veteran Watson - who will captain his namesake at Gleneagles later this year - have questioned his style. 

According to the Daily Mail, Nicklaus said of Bubba: "When he is standing over a golf ball I have no idea what he is doing — I have never seen anything like that before.

"He never hits its straight. He always puts a shape on it. Bubba just plays a game with which I am not familiar."

Watson is widely renowned on Tour for his ridiculous length off the tee that is a result of his unusual swing technique, as well as the way he shapes the ball from right to left and vice versa with nearly every shot he hits. 

The most famous of all is, of course, the wedge he hit from in among the Georgia pine needles and bushes as he battled it out with Louis Oosthuizen for a maiden Green Jacket. 

But even his Ryder Cup captain has questioned his style. 64-year-old Watson said: "‘My dad always said beware of the guy who comes out on the first tee and he’s got a terrible grip and a terrible golf swing. Bubba’s that type of person.’

In some ways, that may be taken as a compliment, but it is hard to fathom why he has labelled one his US Ryder Cup team member's swing as terrible given the Americans are going search of their first win since 2008 and only second this millennium when the two continents collide in Scotland this September. 

Nothing seems to bother the double major champion that much, and he has laughed off the comments with his usual rapport that it is just "Bubba golf".

"The joke is it is Bubba golf. I’m having fun out here. I goof around. I just want to be me and play golf," he said. 

The eccentric long hitter will be looking for his third major honour at Pinehurst No.2 next week and in the abscence of Tiger Woods, will start as one of the favourites to lift the title Justin Rose won 12 months ago at Merion. 

The world number three will go head-to-head with the newly crowned number one, Adam Scott, when the second major of the season kicks off on Thursday. He will also go out alongside South Africa's Charl Schwartzel after the USGA paired the past four Masters winners together for the first two rounds. 

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