Bubba Golf prevails

High above, in a stately Georgian pine, a bird merrily tweets away.

It’s the only noise that can be heard.

We are in a cone of silence that only a place like Augusta National can create.

Down below, thousands have congregated for that most tense of sporting finales, a playoff to decide the Green Jacket.

We punted on the playoff finishing at the 10th hole (the 2nd playoff hole).

A hole whose beauty, downhill drop from tee to green and design perfection have to be seen to be believed.

It’s a hole where the winner of the US Masters is often decided.

With the potential for hanging lies and trouble both left and right of the green, it sorts golfers out like few holes can.

It often sorted Greg Norman out.

We sit on our green Masters chairs at the back of the green ten metres from the pin.

We have a clear view back down the fairway.

Not a word is spoken.

Never again will we have such immediacy.

Never ever again.

You don’t want the moment to end.

The anticipation.

It’s Stawell, Flemington and 10:29am on day one of the Boxing Day Test all rolled into one.

Approximately 140 yards away and obscured by trees and people, self-taught golfer and proponent of Bubba golf, Bubba Watson, considers his options.

Bubba golf is guided by one core tenet.

See a shot and play it.

What few realise is just how outrageous his vision is.

The tension gets to one patron on the 10th green.

The loudest fart in the history of the US Masters reverberates around the green.

For a few seconds, there is high mirth.

Thankfully there is no pungent odour.

We all settle and wait for the incoming ball.

What will Bubba do?

Will the turbulence created by the fart perturb the ball fight?

Surely he’ll land short of the green like Oosthuizen did.

Apparently his ball rests on pine needles.

Think Mickelson’s miracle second shot at the 13th in 2010.

Like Phil, he can impart wicked spin on the ball.

A roar.

He’s hit it, probably using a 9-iron or pitching wedge.

We pick up the flight of the ball early.

It takes a flat trajectory.

It’s a massive hook with the largest j vector component I’ve ever seen.

It’s tracking towards the green.

We are transfixed.

We become part of a football crowd.

The ball hits the green with the most wicked draw spin.

Warney never induced more spin when bowling to Gatting at Old Trafford in 1993.

Incredibly after spinning sideways, the ball briefly feeds back towards the hole and finally lays at rest about eight feet from the cup.

The crowd goes bonkers.

High fives.

Glove taps.

The chant begins.

Bubba clap clap clap. Bubba clap clap clap.

It’s the greatest shot I’ve ever seen.

We beam.

We try to take it in.

We can’t.

We have witnessed a very special Masters moment.

People who saw Oosthuizen’s double eagle at the second rate Bubba’s shot as the greater of the two.

Bubba prevailed over a very good golfer and a fine sportsman.

Bubba golf should be celebrated.

He is a shot maker in the mould of Trevino, Seve and Rodriguez.

Bubba clap clap clap.

Comments

  1. Flynny – masterful re-telling of the moment.

    See a shot and play it – love that instinct in any sport.

  2. Andrew Starkie says:

    Flynny,

    You were privileged. So Privileged. Just occasionally in life we realise (hopefully) we’re a part of something special. A moment. A day. Whatever. We need to cherish those moments. Capture and bottle them. Crack the lid and bring the feeling out when needed. You’ve captured this moment perfectly. I can feel your excitement.

    Bubba’s Rafa type lasso on his follow through was so Seve. Improvisation.

    Don’t you love those who are truly natural? They’re born to do what they do. Ablett Snr. M Waugh. Stevie J. Young Griffo. Gilchrist. Add Bubba to the list.

  3. Wonderful, Flynny.
    Just wonderful !!!

  4. pamela sherpa says:

    What a week. Blighty in the far north and Bubba in the deep south. Both brilliant.

  5. Great stuff PJ. I got up at 5 every morning to see the last 9 holes of the day (Perth time works for you with the UK/Europe but against you for the US). For 3 days I thought it was a bland colourless Masters. All the players I could have rooted for like Aussies and Sergio quickly dropped away. So I started the last day barracking for Bubba by default. He is an exciting player; hadn’t won a Major; and seems a decent character. He was colour in a sea of bland. I could never barrack for a South African. Anyone who talks to his caddy in Afrikaans deserves to lose. And Phil is too too American. Did I say a dud Masters? Wash my mouth out with soap. 18 holes on the last day at Augusta would even bring out colour (other than hair dye) in Julia. It was rivetting – as ever. I kept scanning the crowd for a glimpse of “Our Man in Georgia”. Glad you were in the thick of it.
    As for great shots – wasn’t there a Seve long iron to the Road Hole at St Andrews. I always reckon pure long irons are the hardest shot in golf. I should know – I hit one once.

  6. Peter Flynn says:

    Thanks jawl.

    Bubba recently bought the General Lee(?) The Dukes of Hazzard car.

    Bubba suffers from ADD.

    Bubba and his wife recently adopted a 1 month old little bubba.

  7. haiku bob says:

    during the broadcast over the weekend, i forget which day, someone said (i think it may have been butch harmon) that bubba watson put more work on the ball than anyone he’d seen. said he could cut or hook it from any position. yep.

    so flynny, did you get me one of those caddy outfits? i’ve gotta do some painting around the house soon.

    hb.

  8. Flynny – did the Masters require local negro caddies for all the players up until the 70’s? Regular caddies had to take the week off for the Masters, and forego the cut of a major victory. Is it my memory playing tricks, or was that a quaint Southern noblesse oblige’? I seem to remember all the guys in white overalls were black back then? Did they get to keep the overalls when they went back to being tractor mechanics for the other 51 weeks of the year? Did they have to bring them back cleaned and pressed next year? I don’t think the winner gets to take the Green Jacket home.

  9. Keith Warburton says:

    Flynny,

    Great piece old boy! Could’ve sworn that was you with the deerstalker hat skulking greenside murmuring “Elementary my dear Watson”…of course, your nasal twang couldn’t match the great Peter Alliss when he uttered that same pearler after Tom Watson pinned his 6 iron to the last against Big Jack during the unforgettable ’77 Open the “Duel in the Sun”. Maybe we’re going to have another great Watson to cheer on?

    Cheers, you lucky bastard…I’ll get there one day!

  10. Peter Hannan says:

    Great story Flynny.

    If yuo ever get to see a replay of his approach shot at 17, it’s from the trees and on pine needles but it doesn’t hook in the air so Bubba spits the dummy that it only hits nthe green….and not land nearer the cup.

    I think his shot at 17 helped him make his shot at 10…….

  11. Peter Flynn says:

    Cheers 2nd wave.

    Peter H,

    I’ll have a look tomorrow. Cheers.

    HB,

    I’m thinking the uniform could be useful in future years.

    KW,

    We’ll get there one day. I’m thinking of running a tour.

    The itinerary would easily fit within an A5 sheet of paper.

    PB,

    I think 1983 is the year you’re looking for.

    Carl Jackson still caddies for Crenshaw at Augusta.

  12. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Loved it PF as a occasional watcher of golf and support the Aussies in a major to me Augusta is the Mecca of golf you captured the magic and mystique perfectly

  13. Peter Flynn says:

    Cheers Rulebook.

    Bubba won at Riviera last weekend after duffing a chip at Scottsdale a couple of weeks back.

    Bubba was brilliant at Riviera. His control of the golf ball is amazing.

    Spewin I wasn’t there for Adam Scott last year.

    I think I’ll head back in 2015.

    PF

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