Masters champion Bubba Watson gives backing to world number one Rory McIlroy

Last Updated: 27/02/13 8:24pm

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Bubba Watson believes Rory McIlroy's early struggles with his new Nike clubs is nothing more than a blip.

McIlroy has suffered a poor start to the season after switching equipment manufacturers in a multi-million pound deal, missing the cut in Abu Dhabi and losing to Shane Lowry in the first round of the WGC World Match Play last week.

But Masters champion Watson is convinced the world number one - who will defend his Honda Classic title this week - will come good again soon, while admitting he had never been offered "stupid" money to change clubs.

"I think Rory is going to be number one for a while," Watson said on a teleconference ahead of his title defence at Augusta from April 11-14. "There is no-one in the history of the game who is 100 per cent in making cuts.

"And match play is match play, it's such a goofy tournament so I don't think Rory and Tiger (Woods) losing in the first round shows anything."

As for changing clubs, Watson added: "If the right number, or what we call a stupid number in our business, comes along then obviously you look at it and you figure it out.

"I never wanted to leave Ping, I've been with them since I was eight years old so for me it's an easy decision. I've never got a stupid number, though."

Watson, who defeated South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen in a play-off to win his first major title last April, gets to choose the menu for this year's champions dinner, which is traditionally held on the Tuesday before the first round.

Last year, 2011 champion Charl Schwartzel opted for a South African braai - a traditional meal made up of grilled meats - but Watson is giving nothing away just yet.

"We will wait and see," the left-hander added. "I think I should be allowed to just wait to tell everybody."

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