May 15, 2012
Bubba's attitude will turn off many
By JON MCCARTHY, QMI Agency
May 10, 2012 on Twitter
Bubba Watson will never go down as one of the game’s great players.
Golf history has very few, if any, reluctant heroes. It’s a sport that demands obsession.
When the Masters champ pulled out of the Players Championship to spend time with his wife and newly adopted son reactions were mixed.
The majority seemed to be on Watson’s side and found it sweet and refreshing that he couldn’t pull himself away from his young family.
Others, such as CBS golf analyst Nick Faldo, felt Watson should have been at TPC Sawgrass, pointing out that the course set up nicely for him.
Count me in the first group. I understand the importance of spending time with your family, we all know kids grow up too quick. It seems like just yesterday the doctor handed me my daughter. It’s hard to believe that this week we received our first letter from daycare informing us that she bit a boy at lunchtime. Little angel.
And frankly, I don’t care if Watson is in the field. What I do find puzzling, and probably what Faldo was getting at, is that Watson himself doesn’t seem to care if he’s in the field.
The day after Watson won the Masters everyone rushed to compare him to John Daly and say that golf’s next star was born, but I wasn’t buying it.
I argued that Watson was too aloof, his personality too inward to be embraced by the masses.
By pulling out of the Players and tweeting that he’s “not missing golf at all,” he’s proving me right.
Just moments after winning the Masters, Watson was giving hints that reaching golf’s mountaintop was not enough to satisfy him.
“The thing is, golf is not my everything,” Watson said during his post-round press conference at Augusta. “I’m not going to go home — if I would have lost today — I’m not going to go home and pout.”
Even basking in the greatest success of his career Watson was on the defensive.
“Tomorrow, there’s going to be a new tournament and y’all are going to write about other people,” he said. “Y’all are going to forget about me tomorrow, you know what I’m saying. I’m going to have to keep living my life and do everything.”
As a golf fan it doesn’t get much better than watching Watson smash 350-yard drives and play gigantic hooks and slices with shocking precision.
But, as a sports fan it doesn’t get much worse than an athlete who doesn’t seem to care, and listening to Watson’s recent interviews and tweets it’s hard not to get that vibe.
It reminds me of listening to Bob McCown’s radio show a year or two ago. The panel was talking about a hockey game from the night before and McCown — who has a great ability to turn life’s minutiae into interesting radio — seemed to enjoy telling his listeners he fell asleep after the first period.
It didn’t work.
Fans are willing to put up with a lot when it comes to sports stars or entertainers but having a nonchalant attitude about your livelihood never plays well.
Hopefully Watson proves me wrong and discovers a balance between world-class golfer and world-class father that works for him.
Listening to a tearful Watson after the Masters, whether it happens is anybody’s guess.
“We don’t know the future. We don’t know anything. Hopefully I keep crying. Hopefully I keep having the passion to play golf and keep doing what I’m doing,” he said.
After taking the next two weeks off, Tiger Woods’ schedule will be heating up.
The Greenbrier Classic announced Monday that Tiger has committed to play in the event. This means the former world No. 1 will be playing in five tournaments over an eight-week stretch. His busy stretch is includes The Memorial, The U.S. Open, AT&T National, The British Open and the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
Despite a tie for 40th at the Players Championship and the Masters and a missed cut at the Wells Fargo, Woods’ former coach Butch Harmon told The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive earlier this week that his former student is looking good.
“Friday was the best I’ve seen him hit the ball all year long,” he said.
Harmon also weighed in on Tiger’s chance at regaining his past form.
“I still think he has some confidence issues with his short game,” Harmon said. “He’s going to get there. He’s Tiger Woods for doggone’s sake.”
golf town goes big
Canada’s largest speciality golf retailer became the world’s largest speciality golf retailer this week.
Golf Town has agreed to a $97-million deal to purchase American retailer Golfsmith.
Between the two of them they will have 146 stores across Canada and the US. The board of directors of both companies have approved the deal and Golfsmith’s executive team has been earmarked to run the combined company, according to a press release.