Prior to my days as the Brewers TV Announcer, I called live golf tournaments for Golf Channel. One of the most exciting and entertaining players I covered was Bubba Watson.
During my time, Bubba was stuck on the Nationwide Tour mostly because of his over-aggressiveness and a fidgety putter. He was a train-wreck and a masterpiece all in one, every week.
Yet, there he was Sunday, on golf’s most treacherous greens, Augusta National, putting his way to a Green Jacket. Bubba Watson is a Masters champion! I’m so happy for him.
I can share a story that Bubba shared with me during our days together on the Nationwide Tour. Growing up as a kid in Baghdad, Florida, Bubba would hit whiffle golf balls around the corners of his house. Around and ’round he’d go. Both ways. Hooks and slices. A great athlete with a self-made swing. All of those “trick” shots helped make him the most impressive shot-shaper in golf, along with being the longest driver on Tour.
That story popped in my mind when Bubba hooked his tee-shot into the trees on the second playoff hole, hole #10. ‘Ol Bubba, the king of bling, livin’ large at Augusta, stuck in the pine straw…Perfect! Now, the safe play is a punch out, then trust your putter. The “Bubba-play” is a giant hook around the trees, over the patrons, over the bunkers, onto the green. Just as he’d done thousands of times as a kid, with whiffle balls around his house in Baghdad.
He pulled off the shot of a lifetime. Two-putts later, his golfing-life changed. Way to go Bubba. Way to be a kid again on one of the biggest stages in sports!