He's had success on the PGA Tour, but Bubba Watson isn't yet a household name. His story, though, is an interesting one. Unfortunately, Watson's first PGA Tour win--in dramatic fashion, no less--was botched by CBS' rush to dump out of the coverage.
By sinking a short putt, Watson beat Scott Verplank and Corey Pavin in a sudden death playoff Sunday, then broke down in tears as his wife Angie hugged him.
Instead of giving him a moment to collect himself, the network forced the announcers to toss down to David Feherty for a quick interview. Watson, still overwhelmed by the moment, dedicated the win to his parents, especially his father who is battling cancer. As tears flowed, Watson then said something about praying for his father, then quickly walked away. Feherty, put into an impossible situation, did his best to keep it from being a total embarrassment by saying "we all will". That was followed by an awkward silence, then a toss to a commercial break.
The moment was packed with emotion, which can be good TV, but CBS did a poor job by not enforcing the point that it was Watson's breakthrough win AND special because of his father BEFORE cutting to the interview.
Off camera, a producer could be heard saying "Jerry. His father's name is Jerry."
What is this, a college production?
And by that time, it was too late.
Bubba Watson grew up in Florida, self-taught an an early age by swinging at home made targets around the family's home. He learned how to hit a variety of shots, then earned a junior college scholarship before winding up on Georgia's SEC championship team.
He slugged his way up the ladder and enjoyed a 15 top ten finishes before Sunday's triumph.
Watson is a good ol' boy and he's not above getting into the trenches with fans on his Facebook page. It would have been nice for CBS to not be in such a hurry to give programming back to the affiliates or the network--depending on your time zone--but that's business I guess.
His wife Angie, by the way, is 6-foot-4 and a former University of Georgia, WNBA and European professional basketball player.
Watson's popularity should take off after this. Right now, there are just 17 items associated with him on eBay.