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


Smokies' Hurlers Limit Lookouts To Four Hits Sunday In 5-1 Win

The Lookouts drew six walks, but only managed four hits in their 5-1 loss to the Tennessee Smokies Sunday in front of a crowd of 5,356 fans at AT&T Field.    Chattanooga's loss drops them to 22-28 through 50 games in the Southern League North Division. Tennessee starting pitcher Brad Markey was lights out early for the Smokies, carrying a no-hitter into ... (click for more)

Harrison Sparks Lookouts To 3-2 Win Over Smokies

For the second straight night Travis Harrison delivered in the clutch for the Chattanooga Lookouts. Tonight the third baseman drove in all three runs in the team's 3-2 win over the Tennessee Smokies before a crowd of 4,765 at AT&T Field. Harrison kicked off his night in the third inning with an RBI single to bring home Zack Granite who reached on a walk. Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Jury Chosen For Hawk Murder Trial

Twelve jurors and two alternates have been chosen for the trial of Billy Hawk.  Hawk is charged with a cold case murder from 1981 involving victim Johnny Mack Salyer, who was found in a locked steel drum in the Tennessee River. At the time of the murder, Salyer and Hawk were co-defendants in a cocaine distribution case.  Seventy-two jurors appeared for jury duty ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Honors Military Veterans

A Memorial Day service was held at the National Cemetery on Monday. (click for more)

Calling Out Bad Behavior In St. Elmo - And Response (2)

I have lived in the St. Elmo community of Chattanooga for practicially all 52 years of my life. My grandmother moved to St. Elmo in 1919. My Dad was literally born in a home in St. Elmo and lived his entire 72 years in this community and my Mom has lived here 60 years of her life. I am very disappointed in what my neighborhood has become. I like people. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Amputee Team Wins Relay

As a news junkie there isn’t a lot that gets past me in my morning reading, yet I had no idea there was a relay race in Chattanooga two weekends ago. Maybe that’s why 1,500 people ran away and never came back – the finish line was in Nashville. How the Ragnar Relays work is pretty simple. The organizers pick two cities that are about 200 miles apart and then 12-to-14 runners ... (click for more)