Bubba Watson

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Bubba Watson
— Golfer —
BubbaWatson02.jpg
Watson at Schüco Open, 2012
Personal information
Full nameGerry Lester Watson, Jr.
NicknameBubba
Born(1978-11-05) November 5, 1978 (age 35)
Bagdad, Florida, U.S.
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceScottsdale, Arizona
SpouseAngie Watson
ChildrenCaleb Watson
Career
CollegeFaulkner State C.C.
University of Georgia
Turned professional2003
Current tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins6
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour4
Other2
Best results in Major Championships
(Wins: 1)
Masters TournamentWon: 2012
U.S. OpenT5: 2007
The Open ChampionshipT23: 2012
PGA Championship2nd: 2010
 
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Bubba Watson
— Golfer —
BubbaWatson02.jpg
Watson at Schüco Open, 2012
Personal information
Full nameGerry Lester Watson, Jr.
NicknameBubba
Born(1978-11-05) November 5, 1978 (age 35)
Bagdad, Florida, U.S.
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceScottsdale, Arizona
SpouseAngie Watson
ChildrenCaleb Watson
Career
CollegeFaulkner State C.C.
University of Georgia
Turned professional2003
Current tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins6
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour4
Other2
Best results in Major Championships
(Wins: 1)
Masters TournamentWon: 2012
U.S. OpenT5: 2007
The Open ChampionshipT23: 2012
PGA Championship2nd: 2010

Gerry Lester "Bubba" Watson, Jr.[1][2] (born November 5, 1978) is an American professional golfer on the PGA Tour. One of the few left-handed golfers on tour, he is a major champion, the winner of the Masters Tournament in 2012. Among the longest drivers on the PGA Tour, in 2007 he had an average drive of 315.2 yards (288.2 m) and can hit a ball over 350 yards (320 m), capable of generating a ball speed up to 194 mph (312 km/h)].[3][4] Watson won the 2012 Masters Tournament after defeating Louis Oosthuizen on the second sudden death playoff hole.[5] The win elevated Watson to a career-high fourth place in the Official World Golf Ranking. In 2013 he was added to the list of Great Floridians by Governor Rick Scott.

Amateur career[edit]

Watson was born and raised in Bagdad, Florida, near Pensacola. He played on the golf team at Milton High School, which had featured future PGA Tour members Heath Slocum and Boo Weekley just before he attended.[6] Watson played golf for Faulkner State Community College in nearby Baldwin County, Alabama, where he was a junior college All-American. He transferred to the University of Georgia, the defending NCAA champions, and played for the Bulldogs in 2000 and 2001. As a junior, Watson helped lead the Bulldogs to the SEC title in 2000.

Professional career[edit]

Watson turned professional in 2003 and joined the Nationwide Tour where he played until 2005. He finished 21st on the Nationwide Tour's money list in 2005, making him the last player to qualify for the following year's PGA Tour. As a rookie in 2006, he earned $1,019,264 (90th overall) and led the PGA Tour in driving distance at 319.6 yards (292.2 m). His longest drive in professional competition was 442 yards (404 m) on the PGA Tour at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Watson played well at the 2007 U.S. Open. He was in the final group on Saturday after shooting rounds of 70–71 (+1) at Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh. Watson was one stroke off the lead after 36 holes but then slipped, shooting 74 (+4) in both the third and fourth rounds; he finished in a tie for fifth.

2010[edit]

Watson claimed his first PGA Tour win on June 27, 2010, in Cromwell, Connecticut, at the Travelers Championship on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff with Corey Pavin and Scott Verplank.[7] Watson tearfully dedicated the win to his parents, specifically his father who was battling cancer.

Watson was runner-up to Martin Kaymer at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, falling in the three-hole aggregate playoff that initially included Dustin Johnson, before he incurred a two-stroke penalty on the 72nd hole. Watson led the playoff after a birdie on the first hole, but Kaymer birdied the par-3 second hole to tie, effectively turning the playoff into sudden-death. Watson's second shot found the water hazard and Kaymer bested him by a stroke to win the major championship.

Watson had his own clothing line called "Bubba Golf" at the former Steve & Barry's. He was invited on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after he sent her a video of a golf trick shot he completed for her birthday.

2011[edit]

On January 30, 2011, Watson won his second PGA Tour event, the Farmers Insurance Open, finishing one stroke ahead of runner-up Phil Mickelson.[8] Watson picked up his second win of the 2011 season and third career PGA Tour title on May 1 when he defeated Webb Simpson at the second playoff hole at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.[9] Both players birdied the first playoff hole, with Watson holing a 12-footer; he birdied the next hole to win the tournament.

In July 2011, Watson provoked controversy by criticizing the Alstom Open de France on the European Tour, in which he was playing under a sponsor's exemption. He indicated after his first round that he would not be playing any further events on the European Tour,[10] and complained after his second round about security and organization at the tournament.[11]

Watson took part in the Long Drive Contest for charity at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions alongside Dustin Johnson and Robert Garrigus. He finished in second place, with a longest drive of 370 yards (338 m) behind a drive of over 400 yards (366 m) by Jamie Sadlowski.

2012[edit]

Watson began the year with three top-5 finishes in seven events, including finishing second at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.[12]

Masters win[edit]

Watson's first major championship win came at the 2012 Masters Tournament. He began the final round at six-under-par, three strokes off the lead, held by Peter Hanson. On the back nine, Watson bogeyed the par-3 12th hole to return to even par for the round. He then recorded four consecutive birdies for a round of 68 (-4) and tied for the 72-hole lead with fourth-round playing partner Louis Oosthuizen at ten-under-par. In the sudden-death playoff, Oosthuizen and Watson both made par on the uphill 18th hole. On the next hole, the downhill 10th, both drove their tee shots towards the woods to the right of the hole. Oosthuizen's landed in the rough 220 yards (200 m) away, while Watson's ball landed deep in the woods on pine straw, 164 yards (150 m) from the pin without a clear shot to the green. Watson executed a miraculous recovery shot with 40 yards of hook on his 52-degree gap wedge and stopped the ball within fifteen feet of the hole. Oosthuizen's approach shot landed short of the green, but he chipped past the hole and narrowly missed his lengthy putt for par. Watson trickled his birdie putt a foot past the hole, took his time on the very short par putt, then made it for the emotional victory.[13][14] The win took him to a career-high world ranking of four.[15]

Rest of 2012[edit]

Following his Masters win, Watson began to struggle. He was subsequently cut at the Memorial Tournament and the U.S. Open. A week after his U.S. Open cut, he finished tied for second at the Travelers Championship. A month later, he played The Open Championship, the third major of the year. While shooting a first round of –3 to tie him at third place, he never advanced much after that, finishing tied for 23rd place. In the final major of the year, the PGA Championship, Watson finished tied for 11th. He finished the year with one win, six top-5 finishes, seven top-10 finishes and three missed cuts.[12]

2013[edit]

Watson began the season playing the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where he finished tied for fourth place. He subsequently went on to miss the Farmers Insurance Open, citing the flu as the reason. He went on to reach the quarterfinals in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. In the subsequent World Golf Championship event, the WGC-Cadillac Championship, he began very strong, having round of 66 and 69 on Friday and Saturday respectively, but finished the tournament with rounds of 71 and 75, dropping down to a tied 18th place.

After finishing tied 14th place in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he returned to the Masters Tournament as the defending champion. He was never in contention in the tournament, finishing for a 50th place after a final round of 77. Watson finished a tied 37th at The Players Championship. On the second major of the year, the U.S. Open, he finished for a solid 71 in the first round, just four shots of the lead; however, he finished the second round of 76, being to far away for a chance to be in contention on Saturday and Sunday, finishing tied for 32nd. The next week, the played the Travelers Championship, where he took the lead after a second round of 67. However, in the final round, leading by one with three to play, he triple-bogeyed the par-3 16th, finishing two shots back from the playoff and in 4th place.

Upon finishing a tied 30th at The Greenbrier Classic, he played the third major of the year, The Open Championship. After two solids rounds of 70 and 73, he once again let go of a chance to be in contention after a third round of 77. He went on to finish for a tied 32nd.

Personal life[edit]

Watson was nicknamed by his father for former professional football player Bubba Smith.[6] Watson is married to Angela P. "Angie" Watson, née Ball, a 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Canadian whom he met at Georgia while he was on the golf team and she was on the women's basketball team.[1][16] In 2009, she was diagnosed with an enlarged pituitary gland, which accounts for her height.[17]

On their first date, Angie told Bubba that she would be unable to conceive a child.[14] Various family issues, including the illness and death of Watson's father in 2010, kept them from attempting to adopt until the winter of 2011–12.[14] On March 26, 2012, one week after an adoption of an infant girl fell through at the last moment,[14] Watson and his wife adopted a one-month old baby boy named Caleb.[18]

Watson's father, Gerry Lester Watson, Sr.,[1] died on October 15, 2010 of throat cancer.[19][20] Watson's mother is Molly Marie Watson and he has a sister, Melinda Watson Conner.[2]

Watson is also a member of the "Golf Boys", a boy band consisting of Watson, Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler, and Hunter Mahan. Their hit song "Oh Oh Oh" is currently on Youtube. The video was produced by Farmers Insurance Group. Farmers donates $1000 to charity for every 100,000 views the video gets.[21] In 2011, Watson made a humorous appearance in the song "Michael Jackson" by Christian hip hop artist Andy Mineo on the album Formerly Known.[22][23]

Watson is a committed Christian who speaks openly about Jesus and the importance of faith in his life and says that God is the most important thing in his life.[24] Watson devotes much of his money and time to charity.[25]

Watson purchased the mansion in the Isleworth community of Windermere, Florida, that was previously owned by Tiger Woods.[26]

Professional wins (6)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (4)[edit]

Legend
Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour events (3)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin
of victory
Runner(s)-upWinner's
share ($)
1Jun 27, 2010Travelers Championship65-68-67-66=266−14PlayoffUnited States Corey Pavin
United States Scott Verplank
1,080,000
2Jan 30, 2011Farmers Insurance Open71-65-69-67=272−161 strokeUnited States Phil Mickelson1,044,000
3May 1, 2011Zurich Classic of New Orleans66-68-70-69=273−15PlayoffUnited States Webb Simpson1,152,000
4Apr 8, 2012Masters Tournament69-71-70-68=278−10PlayoffSouth Africa Louis Oosthuizen1,440,000

PGA Tour playoff record (3–1)

No.YearTournamentOpponent(s)Result
12010Travelers ChampionshipUnited States Corey Pavin,
United States Scott Verplank
Won with par on second playoff hole
Pavin eliminated with par on first playoff hole
22010PGA ChampionshipGermany Martin KaymerLost three-hole aggregate playoff:
(Kaymer:4-2-5=11, Watson:3-3-6=12)
32011Zurich Classic of New OrleansUnited States Webb SimpsonWon with birdie on second playoff hole
42012Masters TournamentSouth Africa Louis OosthuizenWon with par on second playoff hole

Other wins (2)[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

YearChampionship54 holesWinning scoreMarginRunner-up
2012Masters Tournament3 shot deficit−10 (69-71-70-68=278)Playoff1South Africa Louis Oosthuizen

1Defeated Louis Oosthuizen in a sudden-death playoff: Watson (4-4) and Oosthuizen (4-5).

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament2004200520062007200820092010201120122013
Masters TournamentDNPDNPDNPDNPT2042DNPT381T50
U.S. OpenCUTDNPDNPT5CUTT18DNPT63CUTT32
The Open ChampionshipDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPCUTCUTT30T23T32
PGA ChampionshipDNPDNPDNPCUT70CUT2T26T11CUT

DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
T = tied
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Summary[edit]

TournamentWins2nd3rdTop-5Top-10Top-25EventsCuts made
Masters Tournament10011255
U.S. Open00011274
The Open Championship00000153
PGA Championship01011274
Totals1103372416

Results in World Golf Championship events[edit]

Tournament20092010201120122013
Accenture Match Play ChampionshipDNPDNP4R32R16
Cadillac Championship72DNPDNP2T18
Bridgestone InvitationalDNPT22T21T19T27
HSBC ChampionsDNPDNPDNP33T8

DNP = Did not play
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = tied
Yellow background for top-10.
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

U.S. national team appearances[edit]

Professional

Equipment[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Michaux, Scott (April 8, 2012). "Bubba's Masters win part of remarkable story". Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Gerry Watson in Florida". PublicRecords. April 9, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  3. ^ "2007 PGA Tour Driving Distance". PGA Tour. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Long Drive Contest". Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  5. ^ Busbee, Jay. "Bubba Watson wins Masters in dramatic playoff". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Bubba, Boo, Heath Take on Masters Golf From 'Redneck Riviera'". Bloomberg. April 8, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Justin Rose falters as Bubba Watson wins Travelers". BBC Sport. June 27, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Bubba Watson holds off Phil Mickelson". ESPN. Associated Press. January 30, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Watson claims his third PGA Tour title in New Orleans". Sky Sports. May 2, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Homesick Bubba Watson set to turn his back on European Tour". Daily Mail. July 1, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Bubba Watson criticises French Open crowd control". BBC News. July 1, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Bubba Watson – PGA Tour – 2012 Results". PGA Tour. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Masters 2012: Bubba Watson beats Louis Oosthuizen in play-off". BBC Sport. April 8, 2012. Archived from the original on April 10, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d Wetzel, Dan (April 10, 2012). "Bubba Watson won the Masters with his own brand of golf, but family trumps his green jacket". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Watson moves up to 4th in world". Toronto Sun. Sports Network. April 9, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  16. ^ Littlejohn, Georgina (October 1, 2010). "Watch out Katherine, there's a Tiger on your tail: Woods caught ogling Welsh beauty at the Ryder Cup opening ceremony". Daily Mail. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Long Watson waited a long time". Boston.com. June 28, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Watson, wife adopt baby boy". Golfchannel.com. March 28, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Bubba Watson's father dies after battling throat cancer". PGA Tour. October 15, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Gerry Lester Watson". Tributes. October 14, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Farmers Insurance to Sponsor "GOLF BOYS" Music Video". Farmers.com. June 14, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  22. ^ Wildes, Michael (October 12, 2011). "Formerly Known" (Web). The Christian Manifesto. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  23. ^ Hill, Jerome (March 14, 2012). "Andy Mineo – ‘Formerly Known’ Mixtape Review [Released September 29, 2011]" (Web). Jam the Hype. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Bubba Watson ‘Showing the Light’". 
  25. ^ "About Bubba, from Bubba Watson Official Website". Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  26. ^ Schmitz, Brian (March 20, 2013). "Bubba Watson buys Tiger's Isleworth house, befriends Jameer Nelson". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy
Best Male Golfer ESPY Award
2012
Succeeded by
Incumbent