Bubba Watson is currently ranked the 8th best golfer in the world according to the Official World Golf Ranking. He is perhaps best known for winning The Masters, one of the PGA’s four major tournaments, in 2012. One of the few left handed players on the PGA tour, Watson is also known for his long drives, averaging 315.2 yards in 2007.
High School and College
Bubba Watson grew up in Bagdad, Florida a town near Pensacola, where he played golf at Milton High School. After graduating Watson played at Faulkner State Community College in Baldwin County, Alabama where he was a junior college All-American. He eventually decided to transfer to University of Georgia, which had won the national championship the previous year. During his first year playing for the Bulldogs, Watson helped lead his team to the SEC title. While at Georgia, Watson also met his wife Angela P. Watson who was on the women’s basketball team at the same time.
The Nationwide Tour
Several years after playing with the Bulldogs, Watson turned professional in 2003 and joined the Nationwide Tour. The Nationwide Tour, also known as the Web.com tour is a developmental tour for the PGA. The tour features professionals who failed to score high enough in the qualifying tournament to make it onto the PGA tour, or who have made it on to the PGA tour but don’t win enough money to continue playing on it. At the end of the season, those who are in the top 25 of the Nationwide Tour earn a spot on the PGA Tour. Watson barely played well enough to make the PGA two years later in 2005.
His PGA Career
During his rookie year, Watson placed 90th overall, but the had the longest driving distances on the tour. On average he was driving 319.6 yards. His longest drive ever was 416 yards in 2010 at the Sony Open.
Watson’s first PGA tour win came on June 27th, 2010 at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut. He beat Corey Pavin and Scott Verplank on the second hole of a sudden death playoff. His second victory came on January 30th 2011 at the Farmers Insurance Open, where he beat Phil Mickelson by one shot. Several months later he beat Webb Simpson in a playoff at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Bubba Watson became well known in 2012 when he narrowly defeated Louis Oosthuitzen at the Masters Tournament. Both players finished at 10 under par and headed into a sudden death playoff. They both made par on the first hole of the playoff. On the second, Watson hit his ball deep into the woods, but made a spectacular recovery shot and landed the ball within 15 feet of the hole. Oosthuizen missed a put for par, allowing Watson to win the tournament with a two put. It was an emotional victory for Watson, and the win took him to number four in the world rankings.