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Bubba Watson gets first crack at defending a title at Travelers

Jun 22, 2011, 2:18 p.m.

CROMWELL, Connecticut (Reuters) - Bubba Watson will return to the scene of his first PGA Tour win when he contests the Travelers Championship, starting Thursday.

Twelve months ago, Watson was largely known as a player who belted the ball massive distances with a pink-shafted driver.

But all that changed when he won the Travelers in a playoff. Not only did it show the golfing world he had the game and mind to win, it proved to the American himself he could compete.

"It showed me that I can play the game of golf," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"It showed me that by winning here I can play with the guys. I belonged out here, I guess."

"It just gave me confidence going forward for the rest of my career, no matter how long or how short."

Watson went on to finish second in last year's PGA Championship, losing in a playoff to Martin Kaymer, and has already won twice on the Tour this season, one of only two players to record multiple wins.

Ranked 13th in the world, he goes into the Travelers prepared for a whole new experience, defending a title for the first time.

"It feels great but I've just got to stay focused on what the job is, the job of trying to lift another trophy," he said.

"I'd love to hold that trophy or put on that jacket again like I did last year."

(Editing by Julian Linden)

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