Bubba Watson defends previous comments on Paris

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It was an amazing coincidence, but the strains of Edith Piaf singing “Non, je ne regrette rien” could clearly be heard as Bubba Watson defended his previous comments about Paris ahead of this week’s Ryder Cup.

As the music rang out as part of the introductions for a six-hole event featuring the Junior Ryder Cup teams, Watson was insisting his remarks during the 2011 French Open at the same venue had been taken the wrong way.

Watson missed the cut after two rounds of 74 and then complained about the lack of crowd control and number of spectators carrying phones and cameras, but it was further comments to local journalists which caused the greatest offence.

The two-time Masters champion did nothing to endear himself to the locals when he referred to the city’s notable landmarks as “that big tower”, the “building starting with an L” (the Louvre) and “this arch I drove round in a circle” (the Arc de Triomphe).

Watson swiftly apologised and also said another story about him dropping a USD10,000 bottle of champagne was completely untrue, but it was no surprise that the subject was quickly raised in his press conference on Wednesday.

“It was sad because none of it was true,” said Watson, who wore a golf glove during the press conference, seemingly at the behest of some of his team-mates, who in turn had to work certain words into their own interviews.

“It was sad that people wrote or took my comments or whatever I did… sometimes the media takes it a different way than it was meant to be.

“It was sad that they did that because I loved it. I’ve always loved it. I love travelling. I mean, that’s why I have played around the world, I love travelling and I love cultures.

“It was sad, but I learned from it. It made me mature as a person and understand that I’ve got to be more mature and more careful how I word things. Hopefully I worded all that right.”

The more pressing concern for Watson this week will be recovering from the sickness bug which he said was prevalent during last week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta, where 17 of the 24 players were competing.

“It’s a long year, we’re all tired,” Watson added. “You can tell, my voice, I’m exhausted. A lot of us were kind of getting sick – I don’t want to say not quite half the field had something – and then travelling all the way over here, we’re all battling something.”

Watson has yet to be on a winning Ryder Cup team as a player and has won just three of his 11 matches, but successfully appealed to captain Davis Love to be one of his assistants for the 17-11 victory at Hazeltine in 2016.

“I learned that the team is a lot better without me as a player,” joked Watson, who also revealed he would not be “revving up” the crowd around the first tee on Friday as he usually does because he will be hitting an iron rather than driver.

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