0

MASTERS NOTES: With wife and son at home, Watson in the hunt

photo

Bubba Watson during the second round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, April 6, 2012, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

MORE COVERAGE

For complete coverage of the 2012 Masters Tournament, click HERE.

AUGUSTA -- Bubba Watson finished just how he wanted to.

All this week at the Masters, the former University of Georgia golfer wanted to shoot under par. And every day he's done that.

Watson capped his Saturday round with a birdie on No. 18 to drop him to 6-under for the tournament and three strokes back of leader Peter Hanson.

"Any time you can shoot under par, like I've been saying, is good," Watson said. "Somehow if I can shoot under par and it's good enough, great. If I shoot a low number and it's good enough, it's great."

Watson is playing this week while his wife Angie is home in Arizona with their new adopted son, Caleb. With the baby at home, Watson tried not to come to Augusta until Wednesday, but Angie forced him to follow his usual routine. But his biggest preparation was off the course.

"Sleep," he said, "because I wasn't sleeping much at home."

With his family absent, Watson has a few friends, his father-in-law and mother in the area as support. But the 33-year-old is trying to focus as much on consistency as winning his first major and fourth PGA Tour event.

"I'm just looking to top 20 each week and then try to top 10 each week," Watson said. "That's my goal, try to come out here and shoot under par, and if it's good enough -- if it's not, then we're going to fight next week."

And with a new child at home, Watson has a different view of the importance of golf.

"It shows that life is not about golf," Watson said. "Golf is what we do.

"Our new son is at home and, obviously, that is more important that making a putt."

Cink sunk

When Stewart Cink finished Thursday's opening round of the Masters 1-under par, the Duluth resident felt confident about his game.

"Every good day you take confidence from," Cink said Thursday. "I mean, I had a lot of really good shots today. There's not a lot of guys in the field that hit better than I did today. I played real well."

Cink has been working on changing his swing and after Thursday said the more good rounds the better for his faith in the changes.

"It's going to take rounds like (Thursday) where I can emotionally trust it," he said. "It's going to take more than just one. That's why I keep saying it's a work in progress."

The work continues.

Cink shot 3-over on Friday, mostly due to poor putting. But Saturday his swing left him.

"Today was one of those days where I got off early and hit a couple of shots that kind of surprised me and I haven't figured out yet where my rescue line is," Cink said. "I am still a little fragile emotionally. I haven't learned to trust my (swing) yet."

The 2009 British Open champion went out 5-over par and finished 9-over for his round and 11-over for the tournament. He took double bogeys on Nos. 7 and 13, playing his way well out of contention.

After he emerged from signing his scorecard, the 38-year-old met his family at the ropes for a group hug.

"It's good to have them around anytime, good or bad round, but they keep it kind of real," Cink said of his family. "It feels like the end of the world sometimes to me out there because it means so much to me. You just want to bury your head in the sand. But when you get back and you can see the kids and see that things outside the ropes are healthy and well that turns a little bit of it around."

Family first

While Peter Hanson made headlines with his 7-under 65 in Saturday's third round, his thoughts kept going back to his family.

It's what kept him grounded as he charged to the leaderboard.

"Days like this (are) great, of course," Hanson said. "But even the days you're not playing very well, when you come back home, you see your kids; so you kind of forget. It's easier to get along with what happened on the golf course."

Hanson's 1-year-old son, Tim, is never far from his dad's thoughts, which is why he marks every ball with the No. 17.

"(Tim was) born on the 17th of November, and in Europe we do the 24hour clock so he was actually born 17:17; so 17 minutes past 5 p.m.," Hanson said. "So when he was born 1 years ago now, I asked the guys at TaylorMade to put that on the ball and they have been nice enough to do it."

Hanson said he will use the comfort of his family to keep him calm as he awaits his afternoon tee time for today's final round.

"We have a nice house with toys in the backyard and playground," Hanson said. "I'll take it pretty easy. To me the key thing is try to not watch too much of the buzz around this, because I know there will be. Just try to stay away from it and come up here (today) and do my normal routine with my putting before lunch and do my stuff and then get to the range and try to just enjoy the moment on the first tee.

Not looking like No. 1

The world's No. 1 golfer couldn't have asked for a better start.

After knocking in an eagle from 80 yards out on the third hole, Luke Donald had visions of turning his tournament around.

Instead, he turned the wrong way.

Donald, whose best Masters finish is a tie for third in 2005, bogeyed No. 5 -- and then disaster struck on the back nine. The Englishman had bogeys on Nos. 10, 14, 18 and a double bogey on No. 13, a par five that is playing as the second easiest hole on the course.

"I suppose so, yeah," Donald said when asked if he wrote off his round after the double bogey. "I have a chance to make a 4 or 3 there and get back to 2over or 1over, maybe pick up a couple more and get into red numbers, and I end up making a 7. That was it probably."

Donald slipped to 7-over with his 75 on Saturday, leaving him tied for 52nd place and without a chance to win his first major.

"There's nothing worse than making up on Sunday and knowing that whatever you do it's not going to be good enough," Donald said.

Amateur hour

Hideki Matsuyama is well on his way to his second straight Silver Cup, which is awarded to the tournament's low amateur.

This time, however, the native of Japan, who earned a return trip to the Masters by winning the Asian Amateur Championship for the second consecutive year, might want to make better plans to get his trophy back home.

"I asked them to send it to me, but somehow it was stuck in my translator's house so I didn't get it until six months later," said the 20-year-old, who shot a 72 on Saturday and holds a six-shot lead over UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay, the low amateur at the 2011 U.S. Open.

If Cantlay does make a comeback this morning, he joked that he might be in the same position Matsuyama was with last year's Silver Cup.

"Yeah, I think (I have room in my luggage for it)," said Cantley, who added that he might have to ditch the razor to make room.

The 20-year-old then admitted that he doesn't need a razor too much anyway.

"Sometimes, not every day yet," Cantley said when asked if he would need the shaver.

Par 5s wither Woods

Remember that fast start for Tiger on Friday? Meet Saturday, same as the last day.

The early 2-under Tiger Woods posted Saturday morning went away as quickly as it happened. After making birdies on Nos. 3 and 4, Woods then bogied Nos. 7 and 9 to return to even-par for the day and 3-over for the tournament.

To go along with his rough ball striking, he continued to founder on the par 5s, again parring all four Saturday. That's 10 straight pars on par 5s for Woods that the field here played 197-strokes under par in the first two days. Birdies were possible, Woods just didn't take advantage.

"It was so close to being a really good round of golf," Woods said. "I just didn't take care of the opportunities when I had them."

Woods couldn't pinpoint one reason for the par 5 struggles. Sometimes it was his drive, other times it was the approach and if not those two, he'd miss the putt. In three days, Woods needed 19 putts on the par 5s, four times one-putting for par.

"It was just one thing after another," Woods said.

-- Staff correspondent John Millikan contributed to this report