Bubba, Varner beat Day, Bryan in PGA charity tuneup match




Harold Varner III, right, and Bubba Watson won a nine-hole charity match against Wesley Bryan and Australia
Harold Varner III, right, and Bubba Watson won a nine-hole charity match against Wesley Bryan and Australia's Jason day on Wednesday ahead of Thursday's start of the PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit  

Washington (AFP) - Bubba Watson and Harold Varner III defeated Australian Jason Day and Wesley Bryan 3 and 1 in a nine-hole charity event Wednesday ahead of the PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Two-time Masters champion Watson and former world number one Day traded jokes ahead of their pairing for Thursday and Friday tournament rounds alongside Brendon Todd, seeking his third PGA title of the season.

The Detroit Golf Club event, played without spectators, is the fourth tourney of the tour's comeback from a three-month coronavirus shutdown that began in March.

Wednesday's foursome played a casual back-nine round with television cameras and microphones, raising $570,000 to bring internet access to Detroit families in need.

"It wasn't about the victory today. It was about something else," Watson said. "When you think about the internet access, for them to have it at home, that's the cool part."

Watson and Varner won the 10th hole to start the match. Day birdied the par-4 13th but Watson matched him to halve the hole and Watson birdied again from four feet at the par-3 15th for a 2-up lead.

Varner chipped in for eagle at the par-5 17th to clinch the victory.

"It was good to be able to do something special," Varner said.

Watson, wearing a red shirt and golf shorts, called out 15-time major champion Tiger Woods, who has not played since a May charity event.

"Tiger, get off your couch," Watson said.

Woods is expected to play in two weeks at the Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio.

Watson was excited about $500,000 in donation from PGA event sponsors, joking, "They felt sorry for Day."

Day fired back as good as he got, noting of the long-driving Watson: "Even though he's old and hairy, he still hits the ball a long way."

Watson wanted to be given a birdie putt at the 15th, but Day rejected the idea, saying, "No, you've got to putt it. You get that head wobble."

Nothing wobbled as Watson knocked it in to double the lead.

In other groups during the first and second rounds, Webb Simpson, a Heritage winner two weeks ago, will join fellow Americans Rickie Fowler and defending champion Nate Lashley while US stars Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed are joined by Japan's Hideki Matsuyama.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Tiger fans climb ladders, peer through fences to cheer on their hero
Tiger fans climb ladders, peer through fences to cheer on their hero

Golf fans not allowed on the course for this week's PGA Championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic have still found a way to root for Tiger Woods and other top players, cheering through fences and from rooftops to provide a brief jolt of energy at the hushed tournament. TPC Harding Park sits on the shore above San Francisco's Lake Merced so there are few places for spectators to catch a glimpse of the action from outside the gates. One exception is the tee box on the par-four 12th hole, which is adjacent to a sidewalk where a few dozen diehard fans peered through holes cut in the canvas covering a chain-link fence.

Woods faces another Sunday at a major with little hope
Woods faces another Sunday at a major with little hope

Eight shots behind going into the third round, Woods didn't make a birdie until the 16th hole at Harding Park. ''It's just like yesterday,'' Woods said. Since then, however, Woods has not been a factor in majors, with missed cuts at the PGA Championship and British Open last year, and a big deficit going into Sunday at the U.S. Open.

Tiger Woods hoping to find form going into hectic schedule after USPGA challenge fades
Tiger Woods hoping to find form going into hectic schedule after USPGA challenge fades

Tiger Woods conceded that his challenge for a fifth USPGA crown is all but over after a second successive 72 in the third round and revealed that on Sunday he will simply be trying to find some form to take forward into a packed schedule including two more majors. In truth, it always was a stretch to envisage Woods contending at the season's first major. After all, this is just his fourth competitive event of 2020 and as a 44-year-old suffering from a stiff back, Harding Park in the comparatively chilly and windy conditions of North California was a few eye-stretching par fives away from ideal. Woods made the cut at San Francisco, but only by one, and after his new putter again started...

Tiger Woods can
Tiger Woods can't find spark, path to contention at PGA Championship

The 44-year-old knows he has to make the most of every major opportunity as he gets older.

Woods suffers more putting woes at PGA Championship
Woods suffers more putting woes at PGA Championship

Woods, who barely made the cut on Friday afternoon, shot a two-over 72 for the second straight round at the TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. "I am frustrated I didn't get anything going early," said Woods, who finished three rounds at two-over 212. Woods is 10 strokes back of second round leader Li Haotong with a host of former major champions near the top of the leaderboard, including two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Golf