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His agent, Jens Beck, said interest in Watson has been unrelenting since the Masters: offers for endorsements and too many interview requests.

“For us, it hasn’t stopped,” Beck said. “For him, the biggest change in his life has been with the baby. I don’t think people truly get that. It was a huge life change for him.”

Watson still faces a long year with three more majors, the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Ryder Cup. The season has become longer in golf, and the trick is to stay fresh for the most important stretches. No one has mastered that better than Woods over the years.

Just more than two weeks ago, Watson tweeted that he didn’t miss golf. So he might be rusty now, but at least he’s ready to play. The Memorial is the start of three tournaments in the next month, ending with the Travelers Championship, where he won his first PGA Tour event.

“I got energized as soon as I got here … looking forward to the challenge of being out here and beating some of the great players,” he said. “That’s what I’ve been missing. I miss the game of golf, miss playing, miss competing, miss trying for championships.”

Watson will say he’s doesn’t play golf for the attention, but there is a part of him craving just that. He is a showman at heart, and he has a lot to show.

Henrik Stenson stopped on the practice range to watch Watson hit a selection of hooks and slices toward the green with a short iron, all of them landing near the flag regardless of the flight of the ball.

“Let’s see you hit one straight at the flag,” Stenson said.

Watson took dead aim and the shot covered the flag. He whooped it up and turned to look at Stenson, who already had walked off and was 20 yards down the range.

“He didn’t even watch because he knew I was going to do it,” Watson said in full banter mode.

These are the kind of shots that represent “Bubba golf.” Watson even talked about having his own “Bubba School of Golf,” which would be different from just about any other golf school on the planet. It would consist of a building where he could invite customers to “hit balls and just practice.”

“That’s all I’d tell them,” he said. “And then I’d ask for my money.”

He grinned in such a way that it was hard to tell if he was joking. That much about Watson hasn’t changed, and probably won’t.