By Ann Liguori
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When any player goes on a birdie barrage at Augusta National, it’s exciting. When Bubba Watson does, it’s downright exhilarating!
The 2012 Masters champion knows how to jump-start a party. And with Tiger not playing and with Phil Mickelson not making the cut, some may say that we need a Bubba making some noise with memorizing shots and good ol’ Bubba humor.
Bubba put on quite the show on Friday afternoon, electrifying the back nine with five straight birdies on holes 12 through 16.
His tee shot on the par 3, 12th left him two feet from the cup. He almost eagled the par 5, 13th and almost aced the par 3, 16th. With five birdies and two bogies, his 4 under 68 moved him to 7 under for the tournament, three shots ahead of John Senden.
Senden and Thomas Bjorn also shot 4 under 68’s. Bjorn joins Masters rookies Jonas Blixt and Jordan Spieth, and defending champion Adam Scott, four shots back.
Bubba believes he has been under the radar this week, saying “nobody cares about the guy who won a couple of years ago.”
Whether you believe that or not, the 35-year-old prefers carrying on without a lot of attention. And after he completed his joyous journey on the back nine, even in spite of a bogie on the 18th after hitting his approach shot into the gallery, Bubba spent some time talking about how he’s had to refocus after winning the Masters two years ago, how he’s had to get back to focusing on the golf course.
Bubba said that the responsibilities that come with winning The Masters “drains you a lot more than you know.”
“Every Sponsor that you have, every company you represent, they want a piece of your time…Yellow flags, I’ve seen enough of those… I’ve signed 5,000, 10,000 flags…”
“Learning how to become a family man, learning how to become a great champion, learning how to get back to practicing the right way and focusing the right way on the golf course, (there’s been) a lot of hard work to get back to this level.”
““You have to understand where I’ve come from,” Bubba continued. “My Mom, having two jobs to pay for my golf, my Dad working in construction. And when you think about that and where I am in my career and where I am in my family, you’re thinking about how great (winning the Green Jacket in 2012) was… it’s an accomplishment for a guy named Bubba, with my mom, my upbringing.”
It certainly is. And with his unorthodox swing and brutal honesty, Bubba’s great for golf.
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