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Bubba Waston almost cards ace by hitting fan with drive; makes good team with Lexi Thompson


Usually, getting belted by a golf ball isn’t fun for anyone involved, but in this case, it was.

On Day 1 of the QBE Shootout, Bubba Waston bent it like Bubba on Tiburon Golf Club’s par-4 13th, driving it right to the green. The ball would then ricochet off a fan’s arm and fall just feet from a hole-in-one.

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

After the shot, cameras honed in on the spectator as he pulled up the sleeve on his Buffalo Bills T-shirt to show off his battle scar on the side of his upper right bicep. Watson signed his glove and gave it to the fan before sinking his eagle putt. Watson then signaled to the fan one last time before heading to No. 14.

In the end, everyone left Tiburon happy after Round 1, especially Watson and his playing partner Lexi Thompson, who almost carded an improbable ace of her own on the par-3 fifth. Despite being three shots off the lead following a 59, the two were excited about how their round went.

“I think we did great about ham-and-egging it out there,” Thompson, the field’s lone LPGA player, said. “I made a few birdies on the front and then he came through on the back, hitting on the drivable hole to about 10 feet and then making a 2 on his own ball. That’s all great with scramble and just working as a team. It was just a lot of fun. I enjoyed watching him play for the first time in person, so I’m looking forward to the next two days with him.”

And the three-time QBE Shootout champion who played alongside the two major champions in Round 1 saw their comradery firsthand and thinks the next two days will continue to be fun for them.

“Lexi played awesome today,” said Harris English, who’s T-2 with Matt Kuchar at 15 under. “She was driving it well, putting well, doing everything. I was really impressed with her game. Bubba had an unbelievable shot off the tower on No. 13 I think it was. I mean, in there for eagle. Yeah, they’re a great team. They played really good golf and I think they’ll be up there come Sunday.”