Birdie binge puts Bubba in right frame of mind at US Open

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Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson fired a 67 on Friday to charge into contention at the US Open
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Two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson birdied five of his last six holes to jump into contention Friday at the US Open, then opened up about long-time mental health issues.

Watson fired a four-under par 67 at Torrey Pines to stand on three-under par 139 after 36 holes, two adrift of leader Richard Bland.

In speaking about his pre-tournament talk with Matthew Wolff, making a comeback this week after a two-month mental health break, Watson shared a glimpse into his own issues and how the chat might have helped spark his own performance.

"I was just sharing my own issues and struggles," Watson said. "Just shared that I've wasted money, I've saved money, I've bought businesses, sold businesses, I've lost 20, 30 pounds because of struggles.

"I said, 'I've done everything you're thinking about. I've done it all. So if you ever want advice just call me.'"

Watson, who hasn't won in three years and hasn't cracked the top 30 at a US Open since 2009, admitted he has been able to relax on a course dotted with deep rough and firm, fast greens.

"It was probably more helpful to me than him," Watson said. "I played pretty calm out there the last couple days. So I guess it did work out for me."

Watson, ranked 61st, shared fifth in 2007 for his lone top-10 US Open effort. The 2012 and 2014 Masters winner hasn't had a top-20 major finish outside Augusta National since his 2010 PGA runner-up effort.

And while he won a US PGA title at Torrey Pines in 2011, Watson says he lacks a comfort zone on the layout.

"I'm going to be dead honest with you. Don't tell nobody. This is a secret. I am nervous over every shot, OK?" Watson said.

"I'm trying to lag it, man, but they keep falling in. I don't know what's going on. I'm so nervous."

Watson downplayed his sizzling second round, saying, "I really didn't know what I was doing. I was just kind of in the flow." But he's ready for the weekend and maybe a third major win.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "Whatever position I'm in, I made the cut, so that's a bonus for me. Looking forward to the challenge kind of. Should be fun."

While Watson has a win drought, he said he feels like his game is better than his results.

"I think I've been playing well," he said. "I've been making a lot of mental mistakes. When you're slightly off, the scores look like you're way off, and I don't feel like I'm way off. I feel like I'm charging."

js/gph

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