Golf-Confident Watson ready for latest challenge at Greenbrier

Frank Pingue

July 4 (Reuters) - Bubba Watson has been inconsistent this season, but with three PGA Tour wins under his belt he is considered one of the men to beat at this week's Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia.

Watson, who became the first three-time winner on the PGA Tour this season with a victory at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, nine days ago is suddenly brimming with confidence.

"My expectation is always trying to win," Watson, 39, told reporters in White Sulphur Springs where five-time major winner Phil Mickelson and world number 31 Tony Finau are among the other notables in the field.

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Watson, who will tee off in Thursday's opening round with Ted Potter Jr. and Patton Kizzire, earned his three victories this year in only 10 starts, the latest when he fired a 63 to overcome a six-stroke deficit in the Travelers.

But Watson has lacked consistency. Apart from his wins, he has only two top 10 finishes — a tie for fifth at the Masters and a share of ninth at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship.

The world number 12, who will be the highest-ranked entrant in this week's field, enjoyed a week off after his latest win, having only picked up a club in recent days to hit some tee shots, and is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.

"Hopefully I make some putts like I did at Travelers, and that's the key to anybody's game is if you can make some putts," said Watson. "We can all hit the ball. So it's just making the putts at the right time to keep the momentum going."

Despite Watson's inconsistent season, the two-times Masters winner said he never lost his confidence, even if he wishes some facets of his game were in better order.

"Looking back, I am a golfer, so there's always things that I wish I was better, but it was a slow start to the year, missed a couple cuts but I knew I was heading in the right direction," said Watson.

"So getting a couple wins, getting a couple trophies is always a pleasure and obviously this early in the year you want to keep going. The goal is always to get the next trophy." (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Larry King)

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