Bubba Watson a dark horse for the Masters?Into the Rough > Golf Features
Published 03/03/2011 09:23:58
There would not be a more popular winner at the Masters than Bubba Watson. The jovial Floridian lost his father to cancer last October, soon after losing a play-off to Martin Kaymer in the PGA Championship. A successful player at the local University of Georgia in 2000 and 2001, the Augusta crowds will give plenty of support to this vastly improved player.
Watson has enjoyed a consistent start to 2011. His first round 76 at the Northern Trust Open was just his second over par round in 17 this season, but he has done more than just play solidly. Watson won his second tour title at the Farmers Insurance Open and finished fourth at the WGC-Accenture Matchplay.
Punters looking to back Watson in the golf odds were relieved to see his good form at Dove Mountain, proving his fitness after withdrawing from the Northern Trust with a strained stomach muscle - an occupational hazard for a big hitter like Watson.
Watson now has more to his game than a monster swing, although it is a serious weapon (he was amongst the three longest drivers in 14 of his 22 PGA events last season). His short game is rapidly improving and the tricky pin positions at Augusta should not intimidate him as they once did.
Many see Watson's near miss at Whistling Straits as a precursor to major success rather than the one that got away and this wide open in Masters provides another good opportunity for a player who is playing as well as anyone at the moment.