Saturday, Nov 22, 2014

‘Small-town guy named Bubba Watson’ once again rules the Masters

Bubba Watson waves with his green jacket in front of 2013 winner Adam Scott (L) after winning the Augusta Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Bubba Watson waves with his green jacket in front of 2013 winner Adam Scott (L) after winning the Augusta Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. (Reuters)
Reuters | Augusta | Posted: April 14, 2014 12:57 pm | Updated: April 14, 2014 1:01 pm

Bubba Watson had just won his second Masters in three years, by the comfortable margin of three strokes, and the long-hitting lefty sounded like he needed to pinch himself to believe it.

“A guy named Bubba from a small town, born in Pensacola, Florida, raised in Bagdad (Florida), it’s crazy to think that you’ve won,” Watson said at the champion’s news conference on Sunday.

“A small-town guy named Bubba now has two green jackets. It’s pretty wild.”

Watson likes to keep it simple, and winning at Augusta National in 2012 rocked his world to such an extent that it took him nearly two years to win again on the tour.

There is no telling how joining the ranks of Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Tom Watson and Seve Ballesteros as a winner of a pair of Masters titles will affect him.

“After getting the green jacket the first time, 2012, winning it, you know, it’s overwhelming,” said the 35-year-old Watson, who wears his emotions on his sleeve and is easily moved to tears.

That first major triumph came one week after Watson and his wife Angie adopted their first child, Caleb.

“Learning to be a dad and then learning to have a green jacket with you is two big things to adjust to,” explained Watson. “So it just took me a little time.

“It took me a year or so to get adjusted. I’m not really that good at that.”

And it took nearly another year to get himself back in the winner’s circle at Riviera Country Club two months ago.

“Finally I got adjusted to it and here we are, another green jacket,” said Watson.

The turning point for Watson on Sunday came on a pair of two-stroke swings between him and playing partner Jordan Spieth at the eighth and ninth holes that turned a two-shot deficit into a two-shot lead at the turn.

“It was lucky for me today that nobody really made putts coming down the stretch,” he said about the lack of a charge by any of his rivals on the back nine. “So I didn’t have to make putts myself.”

My way

After the high-strung, emotional Watson cried during a hug with his caddie, Ted Scott, following the final putt, the winner scooped up Caleb as he waddled toward the green and the champion sobbed on the shoulder of his wife during an embrace.

Watson, a self-taught player who has never had a coach or taken a lesson, said he did not consider himself an elite golfer, just a man blessed to be able to do what he loves.

“I’m not trying to play golf for everybody to tell continued…

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