What We Learned: Bubba blames caddie for water ball


Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. In this edition, our writers weigh in on a heated Bubba Watson snipping at his caddie for a mis-club late Sunday in Connecticut that cost him the Travelers Championship.

Good-guy Ken Duke may have captured his first PGA Tour title Sunday, but most memorable will be Bubba Watson’s meltdown on the 16th hole, which (unfortunately for him) was picked up by on-course microphones. After finding the water with his tee shot on the par 3 – an apparent mis-club – Bubba voiced his disapproval with caddie Ted Scott. Unpleasant, yes, but those exchanges aren’t uncommon on Tour. OK, but then after flying his third shot from the drop zone over the green, Bubba hissed, “You’re telling me that’s the right yardage?” And then finally, after missing his long try for double bogey, Bubba turned to his looper and huffed, “There’s just no reason for me to show up,” which could mean anything, really, none of it positive. Sure, it was heat-of-the-moment frustration from a guy who went from one shot ahead to two behind in an instant. But berating his caddie – three times, on national TV – didn’t earn Watson any more fans Sunday. – Ryan Lavner

We’ve seen the highs and lows, the tears and upsetting blows from Bubba Watson for years. His heated exchange with caddie Ted Scott Sunday at the 16th was yet another example of his raw, emotionally-charged demeanor. A bit unnecessary? Sure. But it’s not the first – and it certainly won’t be the last – time a world-class player blames a caddie for an error on course. That’s Bubba being Bubba. – Bailey Mosier

There’s a strange juxtaposition taking place in golf these days. The world’s best global players, seeking unmatched riches, easier travel and every amenity they could ever want, eventually come to the United States to compete – either full-time or close to full-time – on the game’s highest level. OK, so that’s nothing new, but this is: The void left by these players, in addition to the dissolution of Q-School as we’ve known it, has made it easier for young U.S. players to cut their teeth on tours around the world rather than toiling on stateside minor-league circuits. Former U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein is one terrific example. With no status on a PGA Tour-sanctioned league, he’s playing the European Tour with great success, already claiming a victory this season. Meanwhile, his Florida roommate Brooks Koepka won a third Challenge Tour event in Scotland on Sunday – his third of the year, clinching a promotion to the Euro circuit. Eventually, these guys are good enough that they’ll be playing the PGA Tour full-time. For now, though, it’s apparent that the longtime import business for American golf is finding some success in the export area, as well. – Jason Sobel

There is no expiration date in golf. When Phil Mickelson suffered his sixth runner-up finish at last week’s U.S. Open, some figured Merion was his last chance to win his national championship. But as Ken Duke proved on Sunday at the Travelers Championship, resilience has no “sell by” date. At 44, Duke claimed his first PGA Tour title and gave hope to forty-somethings everywhere – not to mention Phil. – Rex Hoggard