Get a Hartford Courant subscription for less than 29 cents per day

Rickie Fowler

Bubba Watson ends nine-year absence at Pebble Beach, thanks to Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg, Bubba Watson

Actor Mark Wahlberg has an unusual approach to golf. He's never taken a lesson, and he hits his driver and irons left-handed while wielding his putter right-handed.

But the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is very glad he's here, not just for his own celebrity status but also because he lured top pro Bubba Watson back to the tournament after a nine-year absence.

“Bubba and I are buddies, and it was good to get out there with him,” Wahlberg said. “It was the first day he was actually supportive and not trying to take my money. Usually, he's trying everything he can to heckle me.”

Wahlberg and Watson met in 2010 at the U.S. Open Challenge at Pebble...