APRIL 9, 2012
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA | It’s busy in Bubba’s
World. From the start, there’s a committee
in his head, chattering every moment at
an excessively high rate of speed. Bubba
hears them but since he doesn’t like to
listen to anyone, they’re all wasting
There are things in Bubba’s World that
only he sees. Windows and pathways and
curves that no one else could possibly
picture come as naturally to him as blinking his eyes.
In Bubba’s World, the spheres have
their music but he’s the only one who
knows how to listen. He runs on adrenaline and imagination and there’s no one in
the game who has more of both than does
And now – who would ever have
guessed it – in Bubba’s World, you gotta
wear a green jacket.
Watson’s playoff victory over Louis
Oosthuizen at The Masters for his very first
major championship brought a flood of
tears on the 10th green at Augusta
National, not only from Bubba’s eyes but
from those closest to him. His mother,
Molly, was the first family member to em-
brace the new champion. “We didn’t have
any words,” Watson said. “We just cried in
each other’s arms.”
Also on hand were longtime friends
Rickie Fowler, Ben Crane and Aaron Bad-
deley, who stuck around to see their friend
change his life forever. Who wasn’t around
was his father, emotionally lost to the fam-
ily in 2010.
In many ways, Watson is the perfect
Masters champion. He hits it stunningly
long off the tee and his creativity into
Augusta National’s massive, maddening
greens fits Watson’s game like the size 42
long that Charl Schwartzel slipped over his
three back of 54-hole leader Peter Hanson.
He made bogey on the first hole and looked
as if he was going where Bubba usually
goes on major championship Sunday.
However, he two-putted for birdie on
the par- 5 13th, the start of four in a row
that culminated with a 15-footer at the
par- 3 16th that tied him for the lead with
Oosthuizen. But the window had not yet
closed. He drove into the left trees at the
par- 4 17th and he launched a shot up and
Without question or peer, Watson is simply
the owner of the best pair of hands in golf.
He can hook it 40 yards, slice it around
a corner, hit it as if it’s coming down a
chimney and squeeze it quail-high to any
part of the green.
yards, slice it around a corner, hit it as if
it’s coming down a chimney and squeeze it
quail-high to any part of the green.
But his downfall heretofore has been
what goes on between his ears. Despite
four straight birdies on the back nine
Sunday, “I was nervous on every shot and
every putt,” he said. “I get so excited and
amped up that I really have to try to calm
down as much as I can. My caddie (Ted
Scott) talks to me about that a lot.”
Watson was an afterthought much of
the final round. He started the day 6 under,
over the trees onto the green to assure his
a crooked smile. And when Oosthuizen
couldn’t get up and down from the front of
the green, a simple two-putt sewed up the
most famous garment in all of sports.
But that’s not what drives Watson these
days. He and his wife, Angie, just adopted a
son, Caleb. When Bubba and Angie started
dating, she revealed to her beau that she
would be unable to have children. Four
years ago, they started talking adoption
and over the winter, they got serious.
Turned down twice, they finally brought
home another life-changer.
“I can’t wait to get home,” he said. As
he was waiting in back of the 18th green
to be presented with the green jacket by
defending champion Schwartzel, all he
could think of was, “What time is my plane
Then, he saw a helicopter in the air and
almost nudged Schwartzel, who is a heli-
copter pilot, to ask what kind of chopper
that was. At the green jacket ceremony, for
For a man whose attention span is
close to that of his newborn son, Watson
has an amazing amount of perspective.
“Golf is not my everything,” he said. “If
I had lost, I was not going to go home and
pout. There’s a tournament next week and
you’d have forgotten all about me by then.”
Forget, we won’t. But imagine it, maybe
we couldn’t and neither could he.
“I never got this far in my dreams,” he
For a few hours in the Georgia pines, it
became Bubba’s World and now there are
a few more people living in it. l