Randy Smith: It’s Impossible To Dislike Bubba Watson

Monday, April 14, 2014 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

Bubba Watson won the Masters on Sunday in Augusta, Georgia. That makes two green jackets in the last three years for Bubba and the man who exploded onto the professional golf scene in 2012 is still as humble as ever. Just like when he won in 2012, he cried after completing his final round. He hugged his wife and adopted son, and solidified why everyone, golf fan or not, likes him.

To say that Bubba Watson is a bit unorthodox is also a bit of an understatement. He is a lefty, and his swing is not picture perfect, but it gets results. He still drives the “General Lee” and he still uses a pink driver to help promote breast cancer awareness. One of his favorite meals is a burrito, washed down with a smoothie. This guy is all real, folks; the kind of golfer you can actually look up to. He could soon become the biggest star on the PGA Tour, if he’s not already.

His game is called “Bubba Golf” and is described by his long-time caddy Ted Scott as a “freak show.” “I can’t describe it any other way,” Scott said. “I’ve played golf with him 40, 50 times and every single day that I play golf with him or watch him play golf, I just go, how do you do that?”

He’s been playing golf since he was six years old but he’s never had a lesson. He simply learns as he goes and that’s what makes his game look a bit unorthodox. Winning the Masters’ in 2014 was a lot different than when he won in 2012. Two years ago, he was forced to win in a sudden death playoff over Louis Oosthuizen with a crazy (and yes, unorthodox) shot from the trees on number ten. This year he wrapped up the win early and when he completed his round at number 18, the green jacket was his. As he walked from the green to the clubhouse, the tears began to trickle down his face, and when he hugged his wife and son, they began to flow.

Fans at Augusta are getting used to watching Bubba cry following a Masters’ win, and he said he makes no apologies for the tears. “Yeah, I’m going to cry because, why me? Why Bubba Watson from Bagdad, Florida? Why is he winning? So I just always ask the question why. Why me?”  

After all the interviews were done and Bubba Watson and his family and friends were ready to leave Augusta National, there were no places to eat that were open late. So, Bubba and his group ate at Waffle House. We know that because Bubba posted a “selfy” of the group eating at Waffle House. Pretty down to earth isn’t it?

Being down to earth is just what Bubba is and what he continues to strive for. In all of his thirty-five years, he has bought just one sport coat; a pink one he says he has never worn. The last two sport coats are both green and he had to pay for neither.

Perhaps the best example of being down to earth was exemplified in his response to the question, “Do you think this (second Masters’ title) validates you as an elite player?”

Bubba responded, “No no, I’m just lucky enough to have two green jackets. I’m just trying to keep my tour card. I’m not out here for everybody to tell me how great I am. I play golf because I love it.”

That’s definitely unorthodox. 

-----

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.

His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.

He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.

In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have three grandchildren, Coleman, Boone and DellaMae.

To contact Randy: rsmithsports@epbfi.com


JOHN HUNT: Still Finding Reasons To Be Grateful

It’s hard to believe that we’re to the final Thursday in November when most folks in the free world celebrate Thanksgiving.   My how time flies when you’re having fun. I used to always enjoy reading Roy Exum’s columns on Thanksgiving  when he took a little time to recognize people and to give thanks for all of the wonderful things in his life. Following his ... (click for more)

Lady Mocs Hang On To Stun Lady Vols, 67-63

Jim Foster has won more of his share of big games in his 37 years coaching women’s college basketball, first at Vanderbilt and then at Ohio State. He can now say he’s done the same at Chattanooga after his Lady Mocs handed the Tennessee Lady Vols their first loss of the season Wednesday night at McKenzie Arena in front of 4,160 bi-partisan fans. It may have been UTC’s ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 1 Critically Injured In North Chattanooga House Fire

For the second time in three days, a house fire has resulted in tragedy with a 35-year-old woman dying and a man critically injured in North Chattanooga. At 10:13 a.m. on Wednesday, Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire with entrapment at 220 Houser St. The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting out windows and part of the roof. Having ... (click for more)

Appeal Dropped In $25 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Hennen's Restaurant By Lisa Barnes

An appeal has been dropped of a Circuit Court jury verdict that found Hennen's Restaurant not at fault in a $25 million lawsuit brought by Lisa Barnes. Circuit Court officials said the appeal was "voluntarily" dropped. It had been set to be reviewed by the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The verdict in the courtroom of Judge Neil Thomas in early February came at the end of ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful 2014

Over 40 years ago I was a young sports writer when I came up with the notion of setting daily things aside, just for one day, and writing about why “I Am Thankful.” Every Thanksgiving I come up with my list and it is as much about me as it is about my gratitude for all things great and small. I can’t imagine approaching this day in any other way. Here we go … I AM THANKFUL for ... (click for more)