And

MATT CONYERS

tyantz@courant.com, mconyers@courant.com

CROMWELL –Bubba Watson's popularity has soared since his memorable Masters victory. But it has created some difficulties, too.

"Well, for me it was a different situation because we adopted our son; I was only waiting for three days I think it was before I left to go to the Masters," he said Wednesday during Travelers Championship Celebrity Pro-Am day. "And I won the Masters and came back. I was home for a day, and then I did the media and stuff."

Watson spent important time at home. "For me, my son didn't have a man's voice," he said. "So I needed to be home. I needed to be a dad. I needed to be a better husband, and golf was down on the list. So I wanted to do that first."

Watson returned to the course three weeks following the Masters to defend his Zurich Classic of New Orleans title. He tied for 18th place.

In his past two appearances, though — The Memorial and theU.S. Open— he missed the cut. He said his game had gotten a little "rusty," especially his putting.

Watson is seeking to find a right balance at TPC River Highlands, where he won his first PGA Tour event in 2010.

"We're still going through the adoption fun," he said. "It's not finalized yet. So I've got a lot of other things going on in my life, not just golf.

"... Golf's mentally draining, but there was other stuff in my life that's mentally draining, so I'm trying to learn from that, figure out how to say no to people, how to get better at the game of golf, but also how to be a good father and good hustand and balance my life in the right direction."

Singh Works Until Dusk

By the time Vijay Singh walked off the range early in the twilight, he could've counted the number of fans.

This was not prime-time viewing for the range, but it didn't matter.

After teeing off on the front nine just after noon in the Celebrity Pro-Am, Singh still had work to do. Minutes to log; swings to improve.

The heat and TPC River Highlands would demand it in the first round Thursday.

"It [heat] takes a lot out of you, but we know how to handle it," Singh said.

So he kept hitting practice balls and working to improve a game he feels is beginning to turn for the better.

Despite missing the cut at the U.S. Open, Singh says he's feeling good about his chances at the Travelers Championship.

This will be the sixth consecutive appearance in the Travelers Championship for the three-time major winner (2000 Masters and 1998 and 2004 PGA Championships). He has finished in the top 20 five times in his eight appearances.