He laughed. He cried. He talked about hovercrafts. It was just another wide-ranging media conference for Bubba Watson, the defending champion of the Masters and a guy who can go through emotions like a bucket of range balls. In the course of about 45 minutes, Watson joked about whether the shot he hit from deep in the woods deserved a plaque. "Well, who wouldnt want to see a plaque that says Bubba in the middle of the pine straw?" That got the pressroom chuckling. But moments later, the emotions went 180 degrees as the lefthander broke down when asked what hed done with the Green Jacket since winning a year earlier. "Out of respect and honour for Augusta National, as one of the greatest clubs we have, as one of the greatest tournaments, out of respect for them, I didnt do any of my funny antics that I normally would do. Only thing I did was wrap Caleb up in it." Caleb is his son who he and his Toronto-born wife Angie adopted a day after winning the Masters. That, in a nutshell, is Watson, a gregarious and fun-loving man with a wild talent for shaping a golf ball. The place from where he hit his most famous shaped shot has become a popular stop for patrons this week. Most hunt in the bushes for the location and, when finding it, look incredulously at how anyone could get a ball from there to the putting surface. As much notoriety as Watson gained for that shot, its possible its been surpassed by his appearance as a member of the Golf Boys, the mock boys band he formed with Ben Crane, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler. The groups second video, released a month ago, has already garnered more than 3.5 million hits on YouTube and shown a different side of the foursome. "Golf is a tough one to show personalities, because we are so focused on the golf course, were focused on a tough golf course like this," said Watson, who dresses in overalls without shirt or shoes for the video. "Its tough to interact with the fans. So for us, you know, everybody has a charity golf tournament, all golfers do that because theyre good at it. We just did it a different way." When asked who the biggest star of the group was, Watson was blunt. "The biggest star is obviously me and the weakest star is obviously me because I cry a lot," he said with a smirk. "I thought about going solo. I figure I can do better without them. My outfit is the best." Watson also got attention for another video that appeared in the last week, one of him riding a new hovercraft golf cart, which he says was cool but might not catch on. Watson arrives at Augusta with almost the same record as a year ago. He missed the cut at the Northern Trust Open but has been in the top 20 in his other five starts. However, the various stats tell a different story, one of play thats not quite as sharp as when he drove down Magnolia Lane a year ago. "So who knows how Ill play," said Watson, who missed several weeks earlier in the year to an illness that sapped him of strength. "I could miss the cut; I could win. You never know whats going to happen. I feel the same, I feel good. But if youre a stats guy, you look and say, Bubba is not playing as good as last year." But clearly Bubba is having as much fun as last year and who, if he should manage to somehow win again, the laughter and the tears will surely follow. Custom Arizona Cardinals Jersey
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. Kemp asked Quentin why he charged Greinke after getting hit by a pitch Thursday night. Kemp walked up to Quentin near the players exit and the two went nose-to-nose. Padres pitcher Clayton Richard separated them, and security and police quickly broke it up.LA QUINTA, Calif. -- While the golf world focused on Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in another glitzy desert oasis far away in Abu Dhabi, Phil Mickelson had about as low profile of a day as possible on the eve of his season opener. Fighting flu-like symptoms for more than a week, the 42-year-old Mickelson travelled to the Coachella Valley early Wednesday from his home in Rancho Santa Fe near San Diego. He registered for the Humana Challenge, but didnt play or practice at La Quinta Country Club -- the site of his first round Thursday -- or PGA Wests two tournament courses. Mickelson last spoke to the media Monday during a conference call for the Pebble Beach event, where he will go for a record-tying fifth victory next month. "I have been sick. Ive had whats going around," Mickelson said. The illness cost him valuable practice time with instructor Butch Harmon in the area, leaving the 40-time PGA Tour winner a bit unprepared as he enters a stretch of five or six straight tournaments that will end at Riviera or the Match Play Championship. "I havent been able to work as hard as I have going into the season. Maybe that will be a good thing," Mickelson said Monday. "In the off-season, I had a couple of breakthroughs with my putting and driving. Im really excited to start the year." The left-hander is making his first start since tying for second in early November in the HSBC Champions in China, the only event he played after the Ryder Cup. He won the pro-am tournament long known as the Bob Hope Classic in 2002 and 2004. "Its a great place to start the season," Mickelson said. "We usually have calm conditions, I have a great practice facility, there are three wonderful golf courses. Its a great place for me to start the season because it allows me to work on my game after each round. I have a private place at one of the clubs and I can put in the time to build a solid foundation for the rest of West Coast and the rest of the season." Mickelson switched to a claw putting grip last year. He worked hard during the off-season on technique and started using Callaways new line of putters that are painted black and white, which he believes will help him think less about alignment and more about the speed. "It helps me not to be so technical at address," Mickelsoon said.dddddddddddd "Im able to get out into the putt. ... It has allowed me to putt without thinking." FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker also is playing along with U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson and Sony Open champion Russell Henley. Snedeker is the top-ranked player in the field at No. 8. No. 15 Simpson and No. 19 Mickelson are the only other top-20 players entered. Last week in Hawaii, Henley became the first player in 10 years to win in his debut as a PGA Tour rookie. He broke the tournament record with a 24-under 256 total, the second-lowest score for a 72-hole tournament in PGA Tour history. "The last few days has been kind of crazy," Henley said. "Last night was my first normal night of sleep. I finally have gotten a little sleep. Im just really excited to be here and play another golf tournament." Mark Wilson won the event last year for his fifth tour title. "The years gone by quickly," Wilson said. "Excited to be back in the desert. ... Its nice to be settled here at my in-laws over there at Ironwood. I feel like Im back home." In two player-friendly changes last year, the tournament was shortened from 90 to 72 holes and the foursome structure the first three days was switched from one pro and three amateurs to two pros and two amateurs. "I like the new format where you play with another pro every day," David Toms said. "Its a little somewhat easier to concentrate, I would say, and feels more like a normal event. I think they have really tried to step it up as far as the environment for the players." The celebrity competitors include Alice Cooper, Michael Bolton, Peter Gallagher, Craig T. Nelson and Carson Daly, football stars Marshall Faulk and Eric Dickerson, baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith and hockey great Grant Fuhr. "I dont come here to goof off," Daly said. "I want to play well." DIVOTS: Mike Weir, the 2003 champion, has missed 16 consecutive cuts and has finished only one tournament -- a tie for 70th in the AT&T National in July 2011 -- in his last 28 events. ... David Duval shot a 59 on PGA Wests Arnold Palmer Private Course in the final round of his 1999 victory. ... Arnold Palmer won the inaugural event in 1960 and added victories in 1962, 68, 71 and 73. ' ' '