“Guess what—Bubba’s back,” said CBS golf announcer Jim Nantz as Bubba Watson’s par putt dropped on the final hole, completing a 2-under 69 and a two-shot victory over Kevin Na and Tony Finau at the Genesis Open.
Watson is in good company. His third win at Riviera Country Club ties him with Ben Hogan and Lloyd Mangrum. Hogan’s Alley has become Bubba’s Playground.
It was a picture-perfect day in LA, the kind of day that makes Midwesterners watching on television forget about breaking news of earthquakes, wild fires, mudslides and traffic jams that make a final round on the PGA Tour look like a sprint.
It was also a picture-perfect day for Watson, 39, who had hinted at early retirement, especially as his health suffered last year and his weight dropped to 160 pounds.
“I’m here. I’m healthy,” he said. “There are people a lot sicker than me in this world.”
Now Bubba has his 10th PGA Tour title, catapulting the free-swinging southpaw from 117 to 41 in the world rankings. That qualifies him for the WGC-Mexico Championship in two weeks. The Masters, home to his Green Jacket, is also straight ahead for the man from Baghdad, Florida.
“You never know if you’re going to play good again. You never know if you’re going to lift the trophy,” Watson said, voice breaking, tears welling in his eyes. They’re all emotional for Bubba. And this one broke a two-year drought.
But was he really prepared to walk away from the game, or was it drama, Bubba being Bubba?
“I was close,” he confessed. “My wife was not close. My wife basically told me to quit whining and play golf.”
From whining to winning. Bubba’s back, indeed.
Bubba Watson’s Clubs
(As reported by PGATOUR.COM)
Bubba’s sticks, including a driver with a pink shaft, are made by PING. Here’s a complete look at his bag at the Genesis Open.
Driver: PING G400 LST (8.5 degrees) with Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Rocket Pink X shaft
Hybrid: PING G (19 degrees) with Matrix Altus Red X shaft
Irons: PING iBlade (2-iron) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shaft; PING S55 (4-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts
Wedges: PING Glide 2.0 (52SS, 56SS and 60TS degrees) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
Putter: PING PLD Anser Prototype (34.25 inches)
Ball: Titleist Pro V1X