Bubba Watson - April 10, 2012


2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson surprised Erik and Gary with a visit to the Morning Drive studio. After arriving, he first made a plea to previous guest Andres Gonzales to follow him on Twitter just as Gonzales has been begging Tiger to follow him on Twitter. It has been a whirlwind since he won on Sunday and he arrived back in Orlando early Monday morning. Since arriving, he has spent time with his wife and son Caleb although he has not gotten a lot of sleep.

When he held his son in his arms after winning The Masters, Bubba felt that it was a greater honor to hold his son than to wear a Green Jacket. It means more to him to be able to feed his son and change his diaper than to wear a Green Jacket. He does not know if he would have won The Masters if Caleb had not been in his life.

When you are the Masters Champion, he joked that it may not really matter what you do with it or what may get on it. The General Lee is in the shop right now to have some repairs but he added that he will not do anything silly or dumb (or real dumb, anyway) with the Green Jacket out of respect to Augusta National and The Masters.

Looking back at the second nine on Sunday, the three-putt bogey at 12 stands out. But he also knew that he could play holes 13-18 well because other people had done it and he had done it. When he made the bogey, he did not get mad at himself because he knew that he could play well on the final six holes and he did exactly that.

He knew what I.K. Kim did when she missed a one foot putt to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship and that was in his mind on Sunday. The first putt to get close on the second playoff hole was the toughest one because it was so fast and after he lagged the putt to a foot he asked for the patrons to be quiet because he had to concentrate hard to make the winning putt.

When it comes to the Green Jacket, he doesn’t care about the details as he is just happy that the Augusta National was willing to give it to him. The tee shot at 18 was a very stressful shot because he is forced to hit it straight while he likes to shape the ball all the time but he was able to pull off the shot numerous times when it mattered.

When he was looking at his second shot on the second playoff hole from the trees and pine straw, he knew that he had 160 yards and he had to hit a huge hook. He knew he could do it but he could not see the ball after it landed on the green. Lots of patrons patted him on the back which did not make him the most comfortable but it was great to see that the shot was successful.

He saw Louis Oosthuizen make a double eagle on 2 and the roar went on for several minutes. He also heard the roars from the holes-in-one at 16 on Sunday by Bo Van Pelt and Adam Scott. It was an unbelievable weekend with so many exciting things happening and so many big reactions.

During the final round, he saw his friends from the PGA TOUR as well as his mother but he kept his head down to stay focused because he really wanted to win The Masters. It meant a great deal to him that they would go out on the course to follow him and after he won, it was wonderful to be able to see them.

Now that he has won The Masters, among other things he has changed his cell phone number and sent the number to Davis Love III. Watson told Love III that he hoped that he would be able to be a member of his Ryder Cup team this year. Being able to represent your country anywhere for anything is a great honor and it is something he lives for.

He mentioned that the 2013 Champions Dinner menu could include Waffle House and he may stop there today on his way to New York. Lexington Barbecue is also a contender for the menu as they were great to Bubba when he won on the PGA TOUR for the first time in 2010.

He was moved by a message he received from Steve Elkington. A few years ago, he and Elkington had a disagreement during a golf tournament. Afterwards, Elkington told Watson that if he didn’t change his behavior, he would be selling cars and not playing golf for a living. Watson did not like the comments but he was able to take the criticism and grow from it.

Being Bubba is just being a good person who loves his family and loves what he does. He enjoys having fun as well but he is also serious about his golf game. Payne Stewart and Peter Jacobsen are two examples of players that he admires. He was born in and grew up in a small town but now he is wearing a green jacket.

Before a final round, he tends to get really loose and pumped up to the point where he thinks he can hit the ball miles and miles. On Saturday, he practiced putting before hitting balls and talked to his caddie about what he needed to do to stay calm. His caddie Ted told him that no one was talking him so he could just be himself and play Bubba golf. If he could be himself, he would do a great job. Paul Azinger came over and gave him the same advice. He was able to keep his head down and do what he needed to do and he ended up being able to win the playoff.

The moment he realized he could win The Masters came after he made birdie at 16. Following his slice off the 17th tee, he knew that he could win because he knew he could hit a great shot from the trees. He told his caddie at that moment that winning The Masters was possible. Bubba hit a great second shot at 17 on his way to making par and then he hit a great drive at 18 on his way to a par there in regulation.

He read the Bible in the morning on Sunday and told himself all day to just let God’s will be done no matter what happens. He wanted to just play Bubba golf, be himself, and let the chips fall where they may. He knew that at the very least he would get back to the 2013 Masters through his performance and he wanted to show everyone what kind of champion he could be.

During the final round, he and Louis Oosthuizen always exchanged “good shot” to each other and walking down 18, Louis joked to him that PING is very happy because he, Bubba, and Lee Westwood were all in contention. They told each other a few jokes during the day between shots which was nice. He and Louis are great friends and felt bad that Louis did not win and even apologized for not immediately shaking his hand. Louis said that it was no problem.

He learned everything in sports from his father but they did not have an emotional relationship with each other until his father was diagnosed with cancer. After that, they hugged and said I love you to each other for the very first time and he always makes sure to hug his mother at every opportunity.