Saturday, June 14, 2014
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Pinehurst not so elementary for Masters champion Watson

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[June 14, 2014]  By Andrew Both
 PINEHURST North Carolina (Reuters) - Bubba Watson's quest to complete the rare Masters-U.S. Open double never left the launch pad as he missed the cut at Pinehurst on Friday.

Watson dug his own grave with an opening 76 and an even-par 70 on Friday proved too little, too late, as he fell one shot shy of qualifying for the weekend of the year's second major.

His love affair with Augusta National, where in April he won his second green jacket in three years, does not carry over to Pinehurst No. 2, as he freely admitted.

He does not like the look of the course and thinks the greens are too small to suit his game.

"I'm still preparing myself for the rest of the year," he told reporters after mixing four birdies with four bogeys in his second round.

Only five players have won the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year, most recently Tiger Woods in 2002.

Other notables to miss the cut included former world number ones Lee Westwood and Luke Donald and reigning PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner.

Westwood had made the cut in his past nine U.S. Open appearances but he could not extend his stellar record after shooting rounds of 75 and 73.

He is considered one of the best players not to have won a major, despite several close calls. At 41, time is not on his side.

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Fellow Englishman Donald, on the other hand, has a poor U.S. Open record. A tie for eighth last year is his only top-10 finish in 11 attempts.

He finished at six-over this year, the same score as Dufner, who tied for fourth in the past two U.S. Opens and came into the event in top this year form having lost a playoff at the Crowne Plaza Invitational three weeks ago.

(Reporting by Andrew Both)

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