set the record straight

'Gosh, I love it. This is a beautiful place' - Bubba says 2011 comments on France taken out of context

Watson had made his remarks after missing the cut at the 2011 French Open.

BUBBA WATSON PLAYED down comments he made after missing the cut at the 2011 French Open, insisting today they were taken out of context and that he “loves” the country.

42nd Ryder Cup - Preview Day Three - Le Golf National Bubba Watson in action today at Le Golf National in Paris. PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

The colourful American is back at Le Golf National this week for the Ryder Cup, seven years after he complained about security and fan behaviour at the course, and spoke about Parisian tourist attractions including “the big tower” and “an arch”.

“Gosh, I love it. This is a beautiful place,” said Watson, who conducted his press conference while wearing his golf glove as part of an inside joke in the American team room.

“You know, first time I was ever here, my wife played professional basketball in the south of France. Love it.

“It was sad because none of it was true.

“It was sad that people wrote or took my comments or whatever I did — because I don’t really remember, it’s so long ago, but 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.”

42nd Ryder Cup - Preview Day Three - Le Golf National Bubba Watson in action today with Phil Mickelson. PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Watson’s teammate Webb Simpson said that the two-time Masters champion’s knowledge of France has improved slightly since his ill-fated trip.

“It has (improved). He just gets the terms confused every now and then,” smiled Simpson. “He’s well aware. It’s been said a few times, ‘castle versus palace’, but he’s got it down now.”

- Sending Tiger ‘dumb texts’ -

The 39-year-old was a vice-captain at the previous Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, alongside Tiger Woods, but like the 14-time major champion, he returned to form this year and is back in a playing role.

The big-hitting left-hander has won three US PGA Tour titles this year, including at the WGC World Matchplay, where he thrashed Kevin Kisner 7 & 6 in the final.

But much of the focus has been on Woods this week after he claimed his first tournament victory for over five years with an emotional triumph at the Tour Championship last Sunday.

Watson said he was delighted to see his teammate become more open, and that qualifying for the Ryder Cup means he gets his phone number unblocked by Woods.

“It was amazing to see. You know, he’s worked hard. He’s a legend, even if he never came back, he’s a legend,” he said.

“I would have been more upset if he didn’t show emotion, you know. I would have definitely texted him.

“I only get his number during team events. He blocks me during the regular part of the season because I send dumb texts.

“It’s always nice leading up to the event knowing that I’m on the team so I can get his number.”

© AFP 2018

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