Bubba Watson opens up on fear of strangers in 60 Minutes
By Stephanie Wei under The Masters

bubba watson

Bubba Watson is a complicated guy. We’ve seen so many sides of the two-time Masters champion that my head is spinning just thinking about the many versions of him. He’s charming and lovable one second and then he’s acting like a world-class jerk and whining about all his #progolferproblems the next.

Sharyn Alfonsi of CBS’ 60 Minutes profiles Watson for the show on Sunday, April 3 (7-8pm ET/PT). A longer version of the segment that includes Watson at play in a fun, friendly golf match will appear on the next edition of 60 Minutes Sports Tuesday, April 5 (9-10pmET) on Showtime. 

Here’s a preview:

Watson discusses his fear of people he doesn’t know, which isn’t the only mental issue he copes with every day.

“I have a lot of mental issues…I’m just so fearful of things, which I shouldn’t be,” says Watson.  “Scared of heights…buildings falling on me…the dark. Scared of crowds.”

When Watson goes for his third green jacket in Augusta next week, the real “white-knuckle-knee-knocker” won’t be a 10-footer to win on 18.  “In between holes is really scary to me, because there’s so many people that close to you,” he says.  “I’m just scared of people…in general.”

I know the feeling, buddy. I actually truly do. No one believes that I grew up as an introvert, but I have tons of people who can attest to it. The thing is, you can have these anxieties about social interaction, but learn how to cope with them better. (i.e. you don’t always have to act like a jerk.) Everyone has different problems and some have mental illnesses that are incredibly tough obstacles to overcome — and they’re unfortunately stigmatized (but it’s starting to change a bit).

I just have a feeling this Bubba profile won’t be anything that anyone on the golf beat already didn’t know about him. But it’s still good for perhaps the general public to try to understand him better and the mental problems he endures. Bubba deserves kudos for speaking about it (we’ll see how openly), but he has in the past — it’s just that he’s never really been diagnosed, so it’s hard for people to understand and fathom. But, hey, It’s never a bad thing to start a conversation…