Watson purposely aims away from fairway, still makes par

After missing the cut at the Barclays the previous time it was played at Plainfield Country Club, Bubba Watson clearly is excited to make the weekend. Imagine if he carries his 36-hole lead on to victory at the first FedEx Cup playoff event of 2015? Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

EDISON, N.J. -- Playing the ninth hole Friday at Plainfield Country Club, Bubba Watson decided that putting his tee shot in the fairway was not the prudent play.

That's right. He didn't want to be in the short grass.

Instead, the big-hitting Watson unloaded with a 309-yard drive and aimed for a large, white tent down the right side of the hole.

After bouncing off the tent, his ball came to rest between a large tree and an electronic scoreboard.

And this was by design?

"I took it at that tent ... and I tried to play it off of it, cut it off of it, keep it out of the bunkers," said Watson, who finished as the 36-hole leader at the Barclays, the first of four FedEx Cup playoff events. "Today it bounced off of it and went over there. And I knew the lie I had (on his second shot), I had no chance to stop it on the green, because I had to hit it hard enough to fly over the bunker, but with the topspin, there's no chance."

No matter. Watson bellied a 7-wood on to the green and sank his par putt to keep his round going. Had he missed, it would have been back-to-back bogeys and things could have gotten away from Watson the way they did for playing partner Jordan Spieth. The world's No. 1 player, who will lose his ranking come Monday, made four bogeys in a five-hole stretch to close his front nine and effectively sink his chances of making the weekend.

The two-time Masters champ said previously this course just doesn't suit his eye. Blind shots, of which there are many on the classic Donald Ross design, are difficult for Watson and he is an extremely visual golfer.

"The reason why I hit driver is to make the hole visually better for me on the next shot," Watson said.

Asked about his hole after the round, Watson simply gave the answer that many a weekend golfer would after making a par in a non-traditional.

"There's no pictures on the scorecard," he said.

When playing the hole in Thursday's opening round, Watson reached the green in regulation, then 3-putted for bogey.

Clearly the change in strategy produced improved results, by a stroke at least.