UNTIL his Sunday charge at Firestone, Bubba Watson appeared to be going under the radar heading into another Major.

Actually, it was understandable. After finishing T38 in his defence at the Masters, then missing the cut at the US and British Opens for a second straight year, Bubba didn’t look to be front of mind at Whistling Straits.

But maybe he should be. In 2010 he was forced into a three-hole playoff there only when Martin Kaymer made a 15-foot par putt on the 72nd hole.

Watson quickly went a stroke up in the playoff, but on the last hole (No. 18), he dunked his misjudged 6-iron into the hazard for a losing double bogey.

“If I hit my driver well and make putts like what I did in 2010,” Watson said, “it will be a good week.”

He has had a few of them lately, winning at the Travelers in June, barely beaten by Aussie Jason Day at the RBC Canadian Open and finishing second at the WGC-Bridgestone.

In a possible harbinger, Watson confirmed he will take part in the PGA’s long-drive contest Tuesday, which he controversially skipped last year. Maybe that mercurial mind will be right. —Jaime Diaz (@JaimeDiaz24)