Rise and Fall of Bubba Watson

Rise and Fall of Bubba Watson

Gerry Lester Watson was born in 5th November 1978 in Bagdad, Florida and his dad always wanted him to become a baseball player and wanted him to play for Yankee one day and instead of baseball, young Watson choose golf as a career at age 6.
Watson played for the school team in Milton high school and throughout his studying time Watson played multiple tournaments during junior and senior college years and one significant achievement of Watson at that time was that he helped his university to win NCAA championship twice (2000 and 2001).



Young Bubba (Photo Credit: Golf Digest).

In 2003 Bubba become professional and participated in his first tour – Nationwide tour and spent 3 years, where he started on 1162 rank and two years later he broke into to three digits (518) and next year he jumped 299 places up to 219th and also got his best finish that year (2005) and got selected for PGA main tour and was out of the development tour.
PGA Tour Debut (2006):
Bubba Watson finally made PGA Tour debut at the age of 28 in Sony Hawaii Open and shocked everyone as the rookie finished 4th in his first PGA Tour event with overall score of 268 and missed out top three by two strokes and finished higher than Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk and ended 2006 in 156th rank in OWGR.
 
2007 PGA Tour Season:
This was the first time in 6 years where Watson’s 2008-year end ranking (128) was more than his previous year ranking (2007 - Rank 107).
The reason behind it was that in 2007, when Watson started the year with world no. 168 and ended 2007 at world no. 128 in this, he got eleven missed cuts and a disqualification in John Deer Classics.
During this time Bubba qualified for the US Open for the second time and finished with an unexpected T5 and also got qualified for his first BMW Championship where he finished a strong T18 in his first attempt and completed 2007 season with four top ten and one tied second and missed his first PGA Tour win by four strokes by Adam Scott.
 
In 2008 Bubba had the same stats of two top ten, and one second place finish in Buick Invitational, a big achievement for Bubba in 2008 was that for the first in his career Watson was qualified for not one but three majors in one year as he got tied 20th in Masters, cut in US Open and 70 in PGA Championship from the three, Bubba played Masters and PGA championship for the first time, same year.
He started the year on 107 and finished on 108 so, he went one place back that year and of course the reason behind it was his third straight year with a minimum of 10 missed cuts.

2009 PGA Tour season:

Now, 2009 was his last year with the no. 10 (Missed Cuts which was he getting for the last tree years) and was finally was going come out of this trap but before we went ahead let’s see what happened in 2009.
For the first time Bubba, got a MC in the first tournament of the season in Sony Open Hawaii after that he got four top 30 in next four tournaments:
Position:   Tournament:
T25              50th Bob Hope Classics
T25              FBR Open
T7                 Buick Invitational
T17              Northern Trust Open
 
Performance in these four tournaments made him jump 27 places high in OWGR from 131 to 104.
 
Next tournament is a special one any golfer as Bubba qualified for World Golf Championship for the first time in his career, this would have been definitely special one for Bubba because this tournament was hosted in Doral, Florida which is Bubba’s home state (Florida), where he was born and he finished at 72nd position in that particular tournament.
After this he got three missed cuts from next four tournaments which brought him back to 130’s in OWGR and on 3rd May, Bubba got his best finish of 2009, a second place finish in Quail Hollow Championship and missed the win by just one stroke and subsequently he got 34 points for runner-up finish and Bubba jumped 53 places to rank 77 from rank 130, an astonishing achievement.
 
In next four tournaments, Bubba managed to finish inside top 40 which includes T37 in Players Championship, his best ever and a T18 in US Open, due to this performances Bubba achieved his best career rank (68) in July 2009.
It is usually said that “when everything looks good then, it is sigh of something coming really bad” and same thing happened in Bubba’s case as after reaching his career best ranking now, it was time for a downfall and very bad one as he started with a withdraw on AT&T National and then came five missed cuts in next five tournaments which meant zero points for OWGR and due to this Watson slipped 16 place back to 84th place and in last three tournaments of the year he had got T32 and T15 in Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship respectively and a MC in last tournament of the season to end 2009 at 97th rank and even though there were so many lows in this particular year, still there was something to cheer for Bubba by playing all four majors in one year (Masters, US Open, Open Championship, and the PGA Championship) and playing his first WGC tournament.
 
2010 PGA Tour Season:

This year finally came when he got less than 10 Missed cuts (6 MC).
From first seven events he got one T2 in Bob Hope Classics and third in Transition Championship which was best start ever in a PGA Tour season for Bubba and after another five tournaments what came was something that Bubba will never forget in his life as lastly Bubba won his first tournament after 4 years from debut in 2006 at Travellers champions and it was not easy at it looks for Bubba, getting his first win so, he was leading the pack of 77 players after the cut and till 16th hole Bubba was the leader until, hole 17th came and he failed to send the ball to greens from a bunker and a poor shot resulted the ball to fall in water and later, he made a putt to a double bogey for 17th hole and a drop in lead to second and suddenly he was out of winning contentions and in the final hole, Bubba recovered well by getting a birdie in the 18th and was tied for the lead between two other players and match went to play offs which was subsequently won by Bubba and the 34 year old (at that time) finally won a PGA Tour event after years of struggle and hard work.
Before ending 2010 season, Bubba got his best finish in a major championship a second-place finish in PGA Championship after losing playoff over Martin Kaymer and this year proved to be a very successful one as Bubba got his first career victory, best finish in a major (T2) and also breaking top 50 in world rankings and achieving year end rank of 32.

2011 PGA Tour Season:

2011 was a great season for Bubba as he played all four rounds of all five majors (including Players) with best finish of T26 in Players Championship.
Watson won for the first time in 2011 and won a tournament from just three tournaments from the start in Farmers Championship.
And improved his performance from 2010 as he got another win in Zurich Classics to a total of two wins for 2011 season and after Zurich Classics, on 1st May, the American broke in top ten in world rankings as after Zurich Classics his rank was 10th in OWGR but due to strings of finishes in between 40-50 led his ranking gradually drop from 10th to 20th and after end of 2011 season Bubba halved the no. of missed cuts to 3 from 2010 season’s 6 MC’s and two wins and three top tens to finish at world no. 21 for 2011 season.
 
2012 PGA Tour Season:

For the first time in Bubba’s career, he qualified foe all four world golf championships - WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship, WGC - Cadillac Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, WGC-HSBC Champions and his best performance came in WGC - Cadillac Championship where he finished in runner-up and missed his maiden WGC win to England’s Justin Rose by just one stroke.
Next tournament was Arnold Palmar Invitational where he finished with a strong T4.



Bubba Watson's famous shot in Masters 2010
(Photo Credit: USA Today).

After Arnold Palmar Invitational next tournament was a major and it was Masters 2012, in it Bubba was trailing by one over South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and on the 10th hole both played a shot to reach the greens where Bubba pulled of a spectacular shot by reaching 15ft of the flagstick and on the same Oosthuizen missed the greens in his approach shot and his ball landed just ahead of the greens in the rough, and in final shot Oosthuizen needed a birdie putt from rough to win the Master but his shot missed the ball kissed the whole and went away and after that Watson needed to shots win his first major and Bubba missed his first shot which stopped rolling after 4ft of the hole and Bubba just had to tap in for the win and the did that and Bubba Watson become a major champion for the first time in his career in Masters 2012 and he was very emotional after that put in win as hugged his caddie and mom.


Bubba Watson with his Caddie Ted Scott
(Photo Credit: New York Times).

After achieving a fantastic result at Augusta National, now it was time for having look at his rankings as his rank after winning first major was 4th in OGWR, Bubba’s highest ever as in 2012 Watson broke into top 5 in world golf rankings.
Watson’s last tournament of 2012 was Thailand Masters where he finished runner-up in his maiden Asian Tour event appearance and this was Bubba by biggest margin of defeat (11 strokes) for being on runner-up position by South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel.
Watson ended 2012 season on high with one win, three runner finish and 5 top ten.
 
2013 PGA Tour Season:

Now, after having three consecutive seasons with win’s between 2010-12 where he got four victories and in 2013 Bubba had an off season as he got zero victories and one, third place finish in second last tournament of the season in Northwestern Mutual World Challenge to end the season on world ranking 28 from 2012’s rank of 8.

2014 PGA Tour Season:

After having an off season of 2013 now, it was time for a comeback, Bubba had an amazing start of 2014 as he got T23 in his first tournament of the season at Farmers Insurance open, followed by T2 in Waste Management Phoenix Open, then a win in Northern Trust Open during his first three tournaments.
Next came World Golf Championship- Accenture Match Play Championship where he finished with a strong T9 and fourteen days later there was another World Golf Championship due to WGC’s new schedule of 2014 and a confident Watson grabbed this opportunity improving in WGC event and he did as the American jumped 7 places high from his previous performance and finished T2 an astonishing achievement.
During this time Bubba had already improved his ranking from world no. 32 (before start of 2014) to 12th after having fantastic first five tournaments.
6th tournament of 2014 was Arnold Palmar Invitational presented by Master Card, Bubba withdrew from the tournament following death of his childhood friend so, Bubba didn’t participate in Arnold Palmer Invitational for second straight year because in 2013 Bubba had withdrew from the tournament, citing allergies.



Masters Flagstick (Photo Credit: Hello Travel)

There was no tournament for some time after Arnold Palmer Invitational as players had got three-week rest, till 13th April, when year’s first major, the Masters kicks off.
Bubba was leading throughout three days and the tournament’s last day was battle between five players, Jonas Blixt, Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler and Bubba himself, as round four progressed Bubba’s strong carry and distance proved the difference as he edged out all four players on the field to win his second Masters before becoming second time major lets see what happened on final par so, first was Kuchar to get his final shot he putted to finish T5 then came Blixt, he also putted to stay tied second and second last player to put in Sunday’s evening in Augusta National was young 20 year old Jordan Spieth, he had opportunity to get second place instead of tying after he played approach shot to greens and Spieth needed shot a little right side for finishing off in style in his first Masters and avoid a tied second with Blixt but the young American missed the shot as the ball went right later, Spieth had to settle for tied second and having a tap in birdie.



Bubba Watson after winning his second Masters
(Photo Credit: Pinterest, Toronto Star).

Finally, it was Bubba’s chance to putt in par 4 of 18th hole and just like 2012, the ball went and stopped 2ft from the hole and he did tap in putt to become a major champion for the second time in his career and it was emotional moment for the American as Bubba hugged the first person on the green his caddie than he walked towards his child grabbed him and then his wife came whole family had nice moment together and later, Bubba thanked fans who had gathered on the 18th hole by hi-fying spectators.
 
Masters win gave 100 points to Watson in OWGR and this led him to jump 8 places high to Bubba’s best rank ever and inside top 5, and he further improved after getting third place finish in Memorial Open to world ranking of third.
And for two months and three tournaments Bubba stayed in third rank until, mid-July when he started drop and during this time he played four tournaments where he mostly finished outside top 30 and after late August his ranking went down from 3rd to 9th.
On 7th September 2014 it was time for BMW Championship and from here, Bubba started climbing back to the top as finished second behind Billy Horschel in BMW Championship.
Afterwards winning his first World Golf Championship in WGC HSBC Champions where outclassed everyone to win his first WGC event, 13 years after turning pro.
And this win brought him back to third in world rankings but a T11, T24, and T25 finish in last three tournaments made him drop one place back to fourth and Bubba finished 2014 with 3 wins, 3 runners-up and only 2 missed cut.


2015 PGA Tour Season:
In the first tournament Hyundai Tournament of Champions finished 10th to stay o world no. three than in the next tournament of Waste Management Phoenix Open and lost the win by just one stroke and T2 awarded him 23 points to reach world no. three again after 2014.
Next tournament was Northern Trust Open and in this the American finished T14 and 4 points which were enough to reach world no. 2 in Official World Golf Rankings, his highest ever and stayed in no. 2 position till next event which was the WGC where he finished third after that in Masters he got T38 and dropped to 4th and stayed in fourth for rest of the season.
Highlights of that season were winning two tournaments, three runners-up finish, three third place finish and just two missed cuts to finish fourth in world golf ranking for 2015.
 
PGA Tour Season 2016:

In 2016, Bubba got 5 finish between fourth to tenth, his most in after 2012 and also got back to back win and a runners-up finish in Northern Trust Open and WGC-Cadillac Championship respectively and just one missed cut, a fantastic achievement and great season for Watson.
 
PGA Tour Season 2017:

Now, after having three successful seasons, it was time for setbacks and downfall as this year was as worst as 2008 for Bubba.
In first 18 games Bubba got 7 missed cuts and withdraw from Genesis Open where he was the defending champion.



Bubba Watson during tough times 
(Photo Credit: Getty Images).

And this had affected Bubba’s ranking very badly and by the time 19th tournament came PGA Championship already out of top fifty and his rank after PGA Championship was 53rd in OWGR and next tournament was Northern Trust Open, there he got his third best finish of the year with a T10 which improved Bubba’s condition a little bit as he shifted from 53rd to 49th rank due to the 8 points he got from Northern Trust Open but this little hope was thrashed by Bubba himself, as he got T69, T51 and a 67 finish in last three tournaments of the season which worse his ranking, from 49th to 89th rank in world golf ranking.
This was probably one of the lowest point of Bubba’s career zero top three finish in any tournament and seven missed cuts and sliding to world no. 89 rank from 2016’s 10th a huge difference in ranking.
Even in the majors, Bubba missed the half-way cut in three majors out of four and the only major were he finished with some points was in Open with T27 and also missed point in the Players Championship were he got a cut.
 
2018 PGA Tour Season:
First tournament of new season the CareerBuilder Challenge, Bubba missed the cut here, this worsened his ranking from 98th then again a Waste Management Phoenix Open T40 finish, crossed his rank to hundred and to 115th in OWGR and third tournament was AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am were he got T35 to further move his rank two places back to 117th and in three events Bubba lost 28 position before starting the year on 89th rank.



Genesis Open (Photo Credit: Golf Channel).

Fourth tournament was Genesis Open where suddenly people saw 117th rank Watson leading first three rounds and won the final round by a big lead of two strokes and won the Genesis Open for the third time in his career and become the second most successful player in 92 years of history of Los Angeles Open with three wins. 
This win was worth 62 points which made him jump 77 places high to 40th rank and from here on Bubba’s rise started.
In next two tournaments, he got T9 and T66 to reach 39th in world golf ranking.



Bubba Watson with WGC Trophy
(Photo Credit: Golf Australia Magazine).

The seventh tournament was a WGC match play event and finally after so, many years Bubba won a match play event in the WGC after defeating fellow American Kevin Kisner in the final to become world champion for the second time and before this Bubba a had got one fourth place and two round of sixteen finish in a match play event in WGC.
Watson’s rank was 21st and next he got a T5 in Masters to further go down to19th in OWGR, three tournaments later Bubba won the Travellers champion for the third time in his career and becomes the second most successful player ever in Travellers Championship only behind Billy Casper’s four win.
In the Greenbrier Open Bubba got T13 to move to 2018’s lowest rank of 11th and 13 tournaments have changed the course of Bubba as he started the on 89th rank and now he is on 11th rank with five top ten and three victories after 13 events.
And in remaining nine events Bubba got three missed cuts and on top ten in Dell Technologies Open to finish the year on 16th in world golf rankings.

2019 PGA Tour Season:

So, as we saw only one year can change course of you life because after having a terrible year in 2017 where he was not able to win anything and forget about winning he was not getting top 5 that year and the following year Bubba got three wins and six top ten finish which changed everything what happened a year later.
And in 2019 it was time for getting as he got 6 missed cuts followed by zero wins and three top ten in Waste Management Phoenix Open, Valspar Championship and WGC - FedEx St Jude Invitational.
This made him drop to world no. 47 after end of 2019 season again a loose season by the American.
 
2020 PGA Tour Season (ongoing):

In 2020 Bubba have only played five tournaments as PGA Tour calendar was cancelled from March due to Corona Virus Epidemic. Bubba started the year strong with T6 and T3 finish in Farmers Insurance Open and Waste Management Phoenix Open respectively which made him jump three places high to 44th position in OWGR but later Bubba dropped from ranking subsequently as got two MC and one T18 finish in last three tournaments which made him drop 9 places to 53rd rank in world golf ranking and has stayed their since as not tournaments played due to COVID-19.
During an interview with the Independent Bubba had said that he wanted one more major to his list of achievements before retiring and let's hope this great player gets one more major to his long list of awards.
 

March 27, 2020 in Golf

Indian Traditional Games

Indian Traditional Games

Sports has been an integral part of Indian culture and its history. Sports in terms of ancient traditional games have helped to make the childhood of men memorable. Since, now a days has current generation has deeply addicted to video games.
On the current lockdown due to corona virus we look back at some indoor traditional games.
Chaupar or Pachisi a board game which was quite popular in ancient India. The game finds it’s mention in the Mahabharata, the game was also quite popular during ancient times.


Chaupar Game:


It involves two to four players who strategies their pawns move’s on piece of cloth designed in the shape of a symmetrical cross to win the game.
Chaupar is also a board game which was invented around the 4th century. It includes two to four players who use cowry shells and wooden pawns to plan their manoeuvres and win the game.

Ludo:



The contemporary version of Chaupar is Ludo which everyone must have played in their childhood.

By Harsh Pargat.

March 24, 2020 in Guest Articles

Chess and it’s Charisma

Chess and it’s Charisma

Chess it’s merely not a sport but a passion. Believed to have originated in India as ‘Shatranj’ the game till now remains charisma so, strong that it can attract people from any walks of life. Chess helps in enhancing strategic ability.
 
The love for chess in India can be observed in the 1997 Satyajit Ray film ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’ which shows the immense power of the sport to unite people from across boundaries. Former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela’s said “sports have the power to unite people”.

 

Chess is considered to be a game of intellectuals. Chess also helps in accumulation of qualities like patience, determination and perseverance. Thus, chess stands out to be a brilliant sport and this sport should be promoted as chess helps in putting accumulation and enhanced analytical ability of individual.

Chess is being placed since, the Mahabharata period. By playing chess one develops skills like planning, strategy which enhances and broadens mind.
Thus, chess should be played by all as it is a great sport for making friends and a great medium for uniting people from all age group.


- By Harsh Pargat.

March 18, 2020 in Chess

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