(Reuters) - Exhausted after being thrust into the limelight following his emotional victory at the Masters earlier this month, Bubba Watson has struggled to focus on golf at this week’s New Orleans Classic in Avondale, Louisiana.
The affable American left-hander is defending his title at the TPC Louisiana and he narrowly made the cut after Fridays second round having been overwhelmed by all the extra commitments expected of a newly crowned major champion.
“I know that seems like a cop-out but I’m not playing very good because I’m just really not into it,” Watson told reporters after shooting a second successive one-under-par 71 to make the cut right on the number.
“I’m exhausted. Mentally, I’ve lost focus just about every shot so I’m trying to figure it out. It’s something you got to learn from and hopefully get better with it.
“It’s just overwhelming all the positive energy that everybody is coming with ... I’m signing everybody’s autograph, all the players that are asking for stuff for their charities.”
Self-diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, the long-hitting Watson is a fidgety player out on the course at the best of times.
This week, he was eager to please his fans in Louisiana but he has found the extra time commitments difficult to handle.
“After the Masters win, we really haven’t had time to celebrate and think about what happened and live this dream out,” said Watson. “It’s just tiring.
“I knew I needed to be here being defending champ for the local fans, the volunteers and the charities that we’re helping out this week ... I’m here but mentally I’m not here. I’m so out of it right now, golf is a hard thing to do right now.”
Watson, who won his first major title by beating South African Louis Oosthuizen at the second extra hole of a gripping playoff at Augusta National, has especially missed not being at home with his family.
He became a father for the first time when he and his wife Angie adopted their son Caleb just two weeks before the Masters.
“My energy just gets drained really quick, especially with the new baby,” Watson said. “Just haven’t had time to rest yet and take a deep breath. I want to be home with my son and wife.”
Asked if he would consider changing his playing schedule to give himself more time at home with his family, Watson smiled: “Yes.”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury