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Postage Stamp has me licked: Bubba

By Andy Hampson

Bubba Watson claimed Royal Troon's Postage Stamp was "killing him" after seeing his blistering start at The Open Championship come to a sudden halt.

The two-time Masters winner birdied five of the opening six holes on the South Ayrshire links course only to come a cropper on its notorious short eighth hole.

Watson took a triple bogey six at the 123-yard par three - the shortest hole in Open Championship golf - after finding the bunker, the rough and then failing to chip back up a slope.

"That hole has been killing me all week, even in practice," Watson said.

"I hit one bad shot all day and I just hit it on the par three there."

Watson was one of few players to struggle on the hole on the opening day, when weather conditions made it relatively straightforward.

Asked what made it so testing, Watson said: "There's a lot of reasons, but people call those excuses, so I'm going to say just because I'm not very good under pressure on that short hole."

Watson dropped three more shots on the back nine but birdies on the 14th and 18th lifted him to a respectable one-under-par 70.

The American added: "I thought it was good. It's special for me to shoot under par at a Major, so I'm happy."

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