Bubba Watson is Officially Back

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Bubba is polarizing, but his return to the top of the sport is great for everyone involved. 

Bubba Watson is a legend who disappeared for a while.  That does happen to golfers, of course, even (especially) at the highest level of the game.  The margins are razor thin among the best players in the world, and any dip in performance is going to be readily apparent. 

Ranked in the top 10 at the end of 2016, Watson fell all the way down to 73rd at the end of 2017, and had fallen even further as the 2018 season progressed, hitting a low of 117th after Pebble Beach.  But after hitting his nadir, Watson rebounded in a big way, winning the Genesis Open at Riviera.  he followed that up with a T9 at the WGC-Mexico, followed by a win at the WGC-Match Play in Austin, in classic Watson fashion. 

This is a very good time for Watson to be peaking, two weeks out from the Masters, a tournament he's already won twice.  Augusta seems to reward certain players for various reasons, especially creative left-handers, and with Bubba back, the tournament is shaping up to be even more stacked than we could have hoped for even just a few weeks ago.  Phil and Tiger, JT and Spieth, Rory, Bubba, and plenty more, all near the top of their games.  

His appreciation for the Masters remains boundless. 

"I mean, this is the greatest sporting event, I believe, in the world," He said.  "It's obviously the greatest tournament in the world, what they have been able to produce here.  Year after year, we're watching the same gold course, the same venue, the same everything.  And when is the last time anybody shot four rounds in the 60s here?" 

The answer is, Never. 

 Bubba Watson with Caddie Scott Piercy 

Bubba Watson with Caddie Scott Piercy 

Watson has disclosed he no longer reads any media which may have contributed to his turnaround.  He also singled out Scott (his caddie), parenthood and his wife Angie for helping him out of his dark place.  Bubba Watson and his wife adopted a son, Caleb just prior to Watson winning the 2012 Masters.  They adopted a daughter, Dakota in December of 2014, the year Watson won his second Masters.  Life and golf always coexisted peacefully. 

Until last year. 

A nine-time PGA Tour winner, Watson, 39, comes into this week at 108th in the Official World Golf Ranking.  He prefers not to specify the nature of his illness, but whatever it was, he failed to seriously contend in any tournament, missed the cut by a mile at the Masters, and finished a career-worst 75th at the FedExCup. 

Today, Watson is back up to around 180 pounds, which, he recalls is about what he was when he won the two Masters.  After a brief bit of tinkering with his equipment, he has gone back to the ball he used in his prime.  And, lo and behold, he's playing well again.  

"My ball-striking is right where I want it to be.  And my putting I feel good over the putts, they're just not going in.  Right now, the balls' just laughing at me." he told PGAtour.com... 

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Like many previous Masters champions, Watson has peaked at just the right time.  But he is not alone as a number of other top golfers, including former world number ones Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, have also shown solid form of late.  

That will set the stage for what should be a memorable week at Augusta National and Watson said he was pleased to see so many of his competitors in top form. 

 

Shannon McgoneComment