Golfing genius Bubba's 'everyman' routine just leaves me cold
I used to adore Bubba Watson. He burst into my life with wild golf, wins and tears. He seemed like just the type of character golf needed. These days, I'm less of a Bubba guy.
In 2011, he played a European Tour event in France, moaned about everything, missed the cut and declared: "It's not a normal tournament. There's cameras, there's phones, there's everything. There's no security. I don't know which holes to walk through. There's no ropes."
He vowed to get home as soon as possible and was unsure about a return to the madness of European golf. "I'll play the British Open because it's a Major, that's the only reason," he said magnanimously.
A couple of weeks ago at Doral, he was in the rough and facing a tricky second shot on the 18th. He was out of the tournament, but still looking to make par. He elected to go with a stinging long iron, which rocketed towards the grandstand behind the green.
For well over 200 yards, he watched nonplussed as his ball hurtled inevitably towards the watching fans. He didn't yell fore or give a wave or make any effort to cut the odds on somebody's teeth being smashed in. He just watched.
It was quite bizarre behaviour. This, of course, is the same guy who high-fives the Augusta patrons after he wins the Masters, when the world is watching. He even managed a 'fore' on 18 on Saturday. A collector's item.
His caddie Ted Scott may have the toughest job in golf. There were hugs on Sunday, but Ted puts up with a lot.
Ted takes the brunt of Bubba's temper on Tour when things aren't going well. Once, Bubba demanded of Ted: "Why did you even come out here today?" Ted figured it was one of those rhetorical type questions, so looked at his feet.
Bubba is not the only golfer in the world who is rude to his caddie and doesn't shout fore, but there is something slightly galling about the loveable, everyman routine which seems to prevail.
And while he may be a golfing genius, self-taught to the end and utterly compelling to watch, his procession down the back nine on Sunday left me cold.