Watson misses cut, blames distracting French fans

American golfer Bubba Watson missed the cut Friday at the French

Open, suggesting fan behavior and poor security contributed to his

disappointing performance.

Watson shot a 3-over 74 in the second round for a 6-over 148

total on the Albatross course.

”It’s not a normal tournament,” Watson said. ”There’s

cameras, there’s phones, there’s everything. There’s no security. I

don’t know which holes to walk through. There’s no ropes.”

Watson has won two titles this year but rarely plays in Europe.

He was apparently affected by the permissive culture in France that

allows spectators to snap photos and record videos during play.

”I’m not used to that,” Watson said. ”I’m not saying it’s

bad. It’s just something I’m not used to, I’m not comfortable with.

It’s very strange to me. Just very uncomfortable.”

The American lefty complained that the rules were not respected

by the fans.

”Every tee says ‘no phones, no video cameras’ and on every tee

there’s hundreds,” Watson said.

Tournament director David Probyn was disappointed for Watson but

hopes that he will come back, saying the player would be

welcome.

”It’s a shame Bubba has felt that way,” Probyn said. ”I’m

absolutely sure that other players have been put off by it … but

I haven’t had any other complaint this week.”

Probyn disagreed with Watson’s comments on security issues.

However, he acknowledged the culture on the European Tour was

different from its American counterpart.

”Every fairway is roped. We’ve got marshals on every hole,”

Probyn said. ”It’s probably true to say that we do not use

professional security in the same way as they do on the PGA

Tour.”

He also said the European Tour was trying to adapt to spectators

using mobile phones and other gadgets on a daily basis.

”It’s kind of reality wherever you go,” he added. ”It is then

about educating people. How to use them and where to use them, and

that’s something that you’ll see changing over the short to middle

term.”

Watson said he came to Europe to experience a new culture.

”The reason to come over here was just to experience it,”

Watson said this week before the start of the tournament. ”I’ve

played on the U.S. Tour the whole time and just wanted to come over

here, just to experience a different culture, a different life, a

different golf, a different atmosphere.”

But soon Watson felt homesick after carding a 3-over 74 in the

first round.

”I miss my home,” Watson said Thursday.

Some of the most famous landmarks in the world, apparently

didn’t stick with him after touring Paris on Tuesday.

”I don’t know the names of all the things, the big tower,

Eiffel Tower, an arch (Arc de Triomphe), whatever I rode around in

a circle,” he said. ”And then what’s that – it starts with an ‘L’

– Louvre, something like that. One of those.”

After saying it might be his last time playing in Europe, Watson

said he would play the British Open in two weeks. He wasn’t sure if

he would fulfill his commitment to play the Scandinavian Masters in

Sweden.

”I’ll play the British Open because it’s a major, that’s the

only reason,” Watson said. ”I’m going to go sightseeing real

quick and then probably sightsee tomorrow (and) get home as fast as

possible.”