It’s no secret that last year’s Masters champion Bubba Watson gets emotional. He cries every time he wins, so it’s not a big a surprise he sheds tears when he talks about capturing his first major. Heck, I would probably do the same.
Watson welled up when he described wrapping his baby son Caleb in the green jacket a few days after his big victory last year. Golf Magazine’s Alan Bastable recounts the scene during Bubba’s press conference at Augusta National on Tuesday morning:
“That’s the only thing I did with it. Out of respect, out of honor…”
Here Watson paused for a beat … two beats … three … must have been 10 beats in all before the green-jacketed Q&A moderator, Claude Nielsen, finally, mercifully, intervened.
“Let’s go to the next question.”
When you see Bubba Watson prancing around in denim overalls or splattering cakes on The Tonight Show, it’s easy to forget that the man has great reverence for the game and his unique place in it. And of particular importance to him is the site of his first major win.
“You know, this is the mecca,” Watson said Tuesday. “This is the ultimate as a golfer, the Masters. We see the beauty every year. We see heroic shots every year, because it’s the same venue every year, so it’s easy to compare and see other things that happen throughout the history of the game.”
The spot on the 10th hole, right of the fairway in the trees, where Bubba hit his miraculous wedge shot to about 10 feet is perhaps the most popular visiting grounds for both players and fans.
Watson was allowed to bring a guest with him to play on Sunday, so he teed it up with his wife Angie, a former WNBA player who is also a really good golfer. Bubba and Angie payed homage to the spot, but they decided against a photo op.
When they were walking up the 18th, Bubba saw some guys over on the 10th and yelled at them, “No, that’s not the spot, it’s a little over,” he described, according to Karen Crouse of the NY Times:
“Just joking with them, and they saw it was me. And come to find out it was Billy Casper and his son,” Watson said about the 81-year-old Masters champion of 1970. “Kind of funny.”
Bubba is set to host the Champion’s Dinner on Tuesday evening, but he has yet to disclose the menu. One thing’s for sure: It won’t be boring.
More recommended reading on Bubba:
*An oral history of Bubba’s dramatic hook shot (I helped Shipnuck with the reporting on this, so you have to read this and it’s awesome, regardless!)
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)