Keeping Score

No Lessons, No Problems: How Bubba Watson Conquered The Masters

A lefty long-hitter from the Florida panhandle, Bubba Watson wins the Masters his way

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ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

Bubba Watson poses in his green jacket after winning the 76th Masters golf tournament in a play-off against Louis Oosthuizen at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia.

After Bubba Watson’s Masters win, look for pink driver sales to soar. And for the number golf lessons booked to fall.

Watson, the lefty, long-hitting American, who has never taken a golf lesson, is the Masters champ. Finally, one of the group of talented American hopefuls including Watson, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, and Ben Crane – the quartet even produced a goofy YouTube video – has won a major. In the post-Tiger-scandal era, American golf fans have waited for one of these players to step up, and let’s face it, we’re glad it was Bubba, because we like saying “Bubba.”

(PHOTOS: The 2012 Masters)

Plus, there’s a lot to like about Bubba. Watson’s Twitter avatar is a shot of him standing by the General Lee, the iconic car from the Dukes of Hazzard TV show; he recently paid $110,000 for it. The shot that clinched his playoff victory over Louis Oosthuizen, who double-eagled the par-5 second hole earlier in the day, was one for the ages. Using his signature pink driver, Watson hooked his tee shot on the second playoff hole. But this being Bubba, the ball still had some distance: though it was lost in the woods, at least it was close the green. On his spectacular second shot, he needed to smack the ball off the pines, and hook it around a set of trees to make it land on the green. He somehow pulled off this curveball, and thanks to Oosthuizen’s poor drive and shoddy approach shot, Watson could two-putt to a championship.

After his first putt fell less than a foot short, Watson tried to quiet the crowd before the win was official. The plight of South Korean I.K. Kim’s, whose one-foot putt miss cost her an LPGA major title at the Kraft Nabisco Championship a week ago, popped in his head.

So he focused on the tap-in, then won the Masters. And he then cried. And cried, while hugging his mom, then his buddies. He teared up some more on television, after CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz mentioned that Watson became a father two weeks ago. He and his wife, Angie, adopted a one-month-old boy named Caleb, and Watson says he’s yet to change diaper. He might need some lessons for that.

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