Bubba in France to try different culture

Saint Quentin: World number 12 golfer Bubba Watson is making a rare European Tour foray by playing in this week`s French Open near Paris.

It will be a brief appearance on this side of the Atlantic for the big-hitting American as he plans to fly home at the end of the tournament before returning in two weeks` time for the British Open at Sandwich.

"I`ve played the U.S. Tour my whole career and I just wanted to experience a different culture, a different life, a different atmosphere," Watson told reporters at the National course that will also host the 2018 Ryder Cup.

"(But) how do I put this nicely? I want to have my own food for a few days then come back over."

Watson has an unconventional approach to tour life and likes to do things his own way.

"When I get home I just play golf, I don`t hit range balls or anything, I just play 18 holes each day or every other day," he said.

"I practice but not as hard as some of the other guys. I don`t have a mental coach, I don`t have a swing coach, I don`t have anybody that I call coach. It`s all me."

World number four Martin Kaymer of Germany, who pipped Watson to the U.S. PGA Championship title in August after a playoff, has given the crowd-pleasing left hander some tips on how to play the National.

"Me and Martin are good friends," said Watson on the eve of the French Open. "He has a house in Scottsdale in Arizona near me and he told me how tough this course is, that the last few holes have a lot of water.

"He said you get some high rough and you have to hit the fairways. That`s what we want, a tough course that challenges us, makes us pay attention, and where you have to play good golf.

"I wanted to try out the course that just got awarded the Ryder Cup," Watson added. "It`s seven years away but hopefully I`ll (still) be on tour by then."

Spain`s Miguel Angel Jimenez is the defending champion but Kaymer is the favorite to land this week`s title.

Bureau Report

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