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Player Profile

Bubba Watson: the season so far

by Dave Tindall
Updated On: April 14, 2020, 3:49 pm ET

Age: 41

 

World ranking (current/end of year)

Current: 53rd
2019: 47th
2018: 16th
2017: 89th
2016: 10th

 

Current 2020 Stats

FedEx Cup Rank: 62nd
Events: 9
Wins: 0
Top 10: 2
Top 25: 3
Made Cut: 6
Money: $881,832

 

Strokes Gained

Off-The-Tee: 9th (2019: 3rd, 2018: 5th, 2017: 8th)
Approach: 136th (2019: 120th, 2018: 111th, 2017: 144th)
Around The Green: 174th (2019: 124th, 2018: 178th, 2017: 165th)
Putting: 16th (2019: 167th, 2018: 115th, 2017: 143rd)
Tee-To-Green: 75th (2019: 38th, 2018: 45th, 2017: 74th)
Total: 22nd (2019: 81st, 2018: 55th, 2017: 95th)

 

Analysis

Yet again, Bubba continues to be one of the best in the game off the tee. Problem is, he doesn't cash in enough, his SG: Approach rank outside the top 100 once more. There's a definite weakness around the green but at least his putting stats are strong so far this season having suffered big dips previously. It's worth stressing that these are averages though. Bubba's two good finishes this season - T3 Phoenix and T6 Farmers Insurance - were fuelled by good iron play (6th in SG: Approach in Phoenix, 14th Farmers). There's some wild contrasts elsewhere from week to week and he'll want to get back inside that top 50 again, something he managed when dropping down the rankings in 2017. One other little thought: as Bubba is such a creature of habit - three Genesis Opens in February, two Masters wins in April, three Travelers Championships in June - could the complete change to the schedule knock him out of synch more than it will others?  

Grade so far: C+ 

 

Bubba Watson 2020 quotes

WGC-Mexico (after an opening 67 which set him on the way to a T18 finish): “I just made some putts today. The only thing that was missing last week (Genesis) when I missed the cut was I didn't make any putts (true: he recorded -4.335 SG: Putting at Riviera, his only negative SGP figure in 2020). I know my ball-striking is where I want it to be. My mind is where I want it to be and everything. Coming here, I was just hoping I'd get the right bounces and the right breaks. I know I can play around here if I stay committed to all the shots, and today I did that."

WGC-Mexico (reflecting further on his missed cut at Riviera and having perspective) "Missing the cut, think about it, I could be very disappointed because that golf course I love. I mean, I've won it three times in LA, and I can't hit the ball any better. For two rounds I was 13th in greens in regulation, and I think I beat two people in putting for two rounds. So I was like 118 in putting. I was very disappointed, but at the same time, you've got to live life, and so I called my buddy and called a couple buddies and we got together and played some golf and freed it up and just had some fun and realized I was in a good frame of mind and where my life is with my beautiful wife and my beautiful kids; who cares about missing a cut really."

 Waste Management Phoenix Open (after a closing 66 for T3): “I hit a couple good putts today that didn't go in, but all in all you'll take the week and take the putting stroke, it looked pretty good this week."

Waste Management Phoenix Open: "The greens, we can't ask for better greens this week. This is unbelievable how good these greens are this week (he finished 20th for SGP (3.551)."

 

THE MAJORS (most recent result on the left)

The Masters: 12-5-MC-37-38-1-50-1-38-DNP-42-20

This is the only one we get him on board, right? And, of course, that's with the added filter of side-stepping him when he's defending champion and fretting over menus. As well as his wins in 2012 and 2014, Bubba has posted T5 and T12 the last two years. One way of showing how this is his best major by far is looking at the left-hander's cut record. He's made 10 out of 11 in The Masters. Across the other three Bubba, has missed over 50% (18-for-37). He loves Augusta National - "It's the greatest sporting event I believe in the world. It's obviously the greatest golf tournament in the world" -  although will the proposed new date in November throw him a little? 

PGA Championship: MC-MC-MC-60-21-64-MC-11-26-2-MC-70-MC

Bubba was so close to winning this at Whistling Straits in 2010, losing a playoff to Martin Kaymer, but his last seven attempts show four missed cuts and just one finish (T21) better than T60. Harding Park is the venue this year and he was No. 4 seed when the California course hosted the 2015 WGC-Match Play. He did well, scoring convincing wins over Miguel Angel Jimenez (5&4) and Keegan Bradley (4&2) before losing to eventual quarter-finalist Louis Oosthuizen at the 19th hole in the group decider. With four wins (3 x Riviera and 1 x Torrey Pines) in California, he's had some good success in the Golden State.

U.S. Open: 51-MC-27-39-MC-MC-32-23-30-MC-MC

Bubba first came on the radar of many golf fans when T5 in the ultra-tough conditions at Oakmont in 2007 (Angel Cabera won with +5). But, despite his prowess off the tee, the left-hander has been hopeless in recent years with five missed cuts and a T51 in the last six editions. You sense this event has got in his head a little. Although, perhaps those poor SG: Around The Green numbers hurt him in an event which puts plenty of emphasis on the short game (then again, so does Augusta). He didn't play the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot but, looking at state form, he's had four top 20s and three MCs in his last seven starts in New York.

Open Championship: 51-MC-27-39-MC-MC-32-23-30-MC-MC

There's a perception that Bubba's Open form is an absolute write-off. There's a fair amount of truth in that and his best is only T23 at Muirfield but he did have five finishes of T39 or better from 2011-2017, including T30 at this year's venue, Royal St. George's. Some bits of the test suit: there's an emphasis on creativity and he can smash big booming arcs in the wind. But, bottom line, he finds it all a bit kooky. "Blind shots are very difficult for me, because I can't see the target when I'm trying to land it," he said in 2017. And a couple of years earlier, "The sad thing is, for me, is that it's one week out of the year. So I'm coming over here trying to learn the game real fast or learn the style of golf real fast. So far it hasn't worked out well for me."

Dave Tindall
Dave Tindall is former golf editor at Sky Sports.com in the UK and has been writing betting previews for the European Tour since 1997. He can be reached via e-mail on tindall_david@hotmail.com and on Twitter @davetindallgolf.