SAINT QUENTIN, France (Reuters) - A disenchanted Bubba Watson missed the cut in the French Open on Friday, blaming poor course security for his indifferent showing in his first regular European Tour event.
The 32-year-old world number 12 added a second-round 74 to a similar opening effort, to stand six over par and with no chance of making the weekend at the National course.
“It’s different for me, there’s cameras, there’s phones, there’s everything, no security,” a visibly disgruntled Watson told reporters. “I don’t know which holes to walk through, there’s no ropes. It’s something I‘m not used to, I‘m not comfortable with.”
European Tour tournament director David Probyn said the American would have to experience plenty of disturbance on his home tour, but did admit that course security was much more relaxed in Europe.
”You can’t ban everyone who is carrying a mobile phone,“ the tour’s senior tournament director said. ”It’s the same with cameras. You can’t scan everyone for a camera at every event, that would just make it hard for people to watch golf and we don’t want to do that.
“Sure, we are not as rigorous with the way we run things as they might be in America. But we don’t have 1,200 volunteers like they have in America for a tournament. Anyway, our players are happy to walk through the crowds.”
Watson said he would now “go sightseeing real quick and get home as fast as possible.” He will play the British Open in two weeks’ time “because it’s a major,” but he would not commit to his entry for the Scandinavian Masters the week after Royal St George‘s.
It has been widely reported that Watson was on a fee to play in France. However, when asked if he would, like players have done before him, hand back some of his fee because of missing the cut, the American said he was not being paid to play.
“I‘m not being paid a dime,” Watson told Reuters. “I am here because of my sponsors. There has been no cheque.”
(Editing by Clare Fallon)