In his Champion’s press conference, Bubba was asked if this golf course at Augusta National suited his eye?
“No,” he replied. “My home course is really easy; so that suits my eye better!”
And yet, he must now be regarded as a bit of an Augusta specialist. We’ve known for some time that this course favours left-handers. Bubba, left-handed and with the added bonus of his extraordinary length, poses a threat to everyone for years to come.
Only 17 people in history have won more than one Green Jacket; and the boy from Baghdad, Florida is now one of them. If there was anyone out there thinking his win two year’s ago – in a playoff without Louis Oosthuizen - was a bit of a fluke, they will need to think again.
“It’s overwhelming,” he went on. “To get the first one was a dream come true. To get the second one was icing on the cake. I never expected to make it this far. Just to make it onto the PGA Tour was a blessing. Now I have six wins, and two Green Jackets, it’s pretty remarkable. I can’t really put it into words.”
He didn’t need to. His clubs did the talking, and he played the only way he knows how to – Bubba golf. On the 13th, his drive went way left, over the trees, hit a branch on the top of one of them, and still went 366 yards! It left him a 56 degree sand wedge to the green. Bobby Jones and Alistair Mackenzie will be turning in their graves.
Unlike two years ago, Watson won quite comfortably this time around; mainly because no-one was able to make a charge at him on the back nine. Winning his second Green Jacket in three years, was a lot easier than the first one.
Going out in the final round with his friend, Jordan Spieth, Bubba trailed by two shots after seven holes; but he then made birdies at the 8th and the 9th, while Spieth bogeyed both holes. That momentum swing was always going to be too much to reverse; and Watson was in such control that the usual nail-biting which traditionally takes place on the back nine here was – like Tiger - absent.
In the end Watson won by three, from the remarkable 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, and the unheralded Swede, Jonas Blixt. You would have got good money at the beginning of the week on Blixt being the leading European; and it was ultimately another disappointing week for the European contingent.
It has now been 15 years since Europe won this Tournament; a Tournament we used to own in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Let’s hope that is not a bad signal for the Ryder Cup match, at Gleneagles in September.