Sports Illustrated predicted the 2012 Masters would be a two-man tale – boldly declaring that “Tiger Woods versus Rory McIlroy is the only story in golf.”
Absolutely. And, if you remember, Dewey defeated Truman.
Talk about a shank into the water!
Mercifully, and actually predictably, what fate brought us was a much more layered,
gripping and meaningful epic – a cliffhanger involving two men chosen by destiny, a fable tailored for Augusta National, where Sunday drama has become part of the television schedule.
In the end, Bubba Watson became yet another Masters and major-tournament surprise new winner – not only hooking his difference-making shot out of the woods to the second-playoff-hole green, but also cutting through all the hype that the
storyline for this tournament had already been written for somebody else.
On Easter, the devout believer never stopped believing.
Bubba Watson is popular in these parts for having been a Georgia Bulldog. Coincidentally, one Bulldog fan at the Masters this past weekend asked us to find a way to write more about UGA.
Not even the fan expected it to be so quick!
But Watson has also instantly become a fan favorite for other reasons as well. For one thing, it’s becoming legendary that he never had a golf lesson in his life. And if the folks behind the Masters want to popularize golf more, they could hardly have chosen a better champion themselves.
“He’s one of us,” one observer said.
Nor have we often seen a more emotional champion. Perhaps mindful of the long, lonely struggle every great winner endures, and no doubt thinking of his father, whom he lost to cancer in 2010, Watson had barely taken his winning ball out of the 10th hole cup when the flood of emotion swept over him. In successive hugs from his caddie, mother and more, Watson released wave after wave of joy and relief.
This is what it looks like when an otherwise ordinary man, with a beautiful common touch, does extraordinary things. He is, indeed, one of us.
But he will never again be considered ordinary. He’s a Masters champion.
Now that the 2012 script has been written, we know there is more than one story in golf – that, in fact, there are too many marvelous, uplifting and inspiring twists and turns to count on a single scorecard.
And this one? It just may be the feel-good story of the year.