Bubba Watson is one of just a few players with a somewhat legitimate shot of taking down Jordan Spieth for the FedEx Cup title in 2015. He proved he’s taking it seriously with an opening-round 65 at the Barclays on Thursday to be one of four men atop the early leaderboard.
Watson overcame two front-nine bogeys with seven birdies, five of those on the back nine to sit tied with fellow Americans Spencer Levin and Tony Finau, and Colombia’s Camilo Villegas.
Finau looked like the sure choice to run away and hide with the lead, dropping to 6-under through 12 with three straight birdies to open the back nine, only to give all three strokes back with a trio of bogeys. He rebounded to birdie 17 and 18 to stay tied for the lead.
Another six players sit at 4-under, one stroke off the lead, including 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner.
At the extreme opposite from Watson is the aforementioned Spieth, who had a disastrous front nine, 6-over, and finished with a 4-over 74 to tie for 95th.
Spieth’s day started: bogey, bogey, double bogey, birdie, bogey, par, bogey, par, bogey – marking the worst round of his entire season.