PARIS -- Not only has Bubba Watson returned to the U.S. Ryder Cup team, but he is also back at Le Golf National, the site of this week's competition and where he had a rather dubious experience the last time he was here.
Playing in the French Open in 2011, Watson caused a bit of an uproar due to poor play and his references to several French landmarks that came off as insulting.
He referred to Paris' Arc de Triomphe as "the arch I drove around in a circle," the Palace of Versailles as "the castle that we're staying next to,'' and dismissed the Louvre as "a building beginning with L.''
If that wasn't enough, Watson complained about the French Open's lack of security, security ropes and spectators' abundance of cameras and cell phones. Since the French Open is a European Tour event and widely covered in the United Kingdom, there were plenty of tabloid headlines.
And a columnist for the Daily Telegraph wrote that "Watson behaved at the French Open in the fashion of every oafish American tourist you dread to encounter in the patisseries of Old Europe.''
Watson apologized and hoped it would be forgotten. It came up again Wednesday at a pre-Ryder Cup news conference. He recalled the incident as being sad.
"I loved (the area). I've always loved it. I love traveling and I love cultures," he said. "I remember I went on a bike tour and Segway tour, and I remember falling off my Segway right there, and that's where I kind of made a fool of myself.''
Watson has won the Masters twice since then and captured three PGA Tour titles this year.
"It was sad, but I learned from it. It made me mature as a person and understand that I've got to be more mature and careful how I word things. Hopefully I worded that all right," he said.