AUGUSTA – This was supposed to be Bubba Watson’s Masters. The champion in 2012 and 2014, Watson, logically, should have won in 2016, right?
Instead, it became more of an opportunity to explore the shallow end of Watson’s personality, that part that contradicts his image as the self-taught, happy-go-lucky, Bagdad (Fla.)-born, long-hitting left-hander that so nicely conforms to a name like Bubba.
There are times, when he finds himself displeased, Watson resorts to a passive-aggressive tactic of reminding the listener that he is Bubba Watson, and you aren’t.
Whatever his intention, it can make him sound like kind of a tool.
Like this weekend, he was asked how he felt after being a non-factor at his favorite place (he bolted to a 3 under start through his first eight holes, only to begin a steep descent with a 41 on the back nine).
Watson’s response: “I was fourth in the world. I’m still fourth in the world. So yeah, I feel good. I don’t know if you’ve ever been fourth in the world. You have pretty good confidence. There are three guys better than you. Yeah, I feel every week I play I can win. Every week I play I can be very successful. This week, the golf course just beat me.”
The Bubba moment of the 2016 Masters turned out to be some reported snarky interaction between himself and a patron Saturday, when Watson’s tee ball on No. 10 wandered into the woods.
According to a Shreveport Times report, Watson told a fan who was standing a bit near, “Can you back up; you’re really not supposed to be back here.”
“Neither is your ball,” the unidentified fan reportedly answered.
Watson was incapable of laughing off a funny, harmless retort.
“I don’t know about you but I have two green jackets. . .Thanks for coming,” he said.
Sunday, Watson was done before the leaders teed off, finishing with his first sub-par round (71) on his way to a 9 over total.
Having time to process the week in whole, this was his summary: “It was a tough week for me. This is the toughest wind I’ve ever seen – not today, but the last three days – the toughest I’ve ever seen the course. A very tough week.
“Obviously I came in here with very high hopes and I didn’t perform at a high level.
“It wasn’t my week. Hopefully next year it will be my week.
“I’ll go watch (the end of the tournament). You want to watch and see what other guys are doing. You take notes for following years. You’re caddie always writes down what the wind is doing today, watch what people are hitting on tees, I remember it all and I’ll have that in my memory bank for years down the road.”
Just a reminder that the good Bubba could show himself at any time around here.