Bubba Watson disappeared for a while. That does happen to golfers, of course, even (especially) at the highest level of the game. The margins are razor thin among the best players in the world, and any dip in performance is going to be readily apparent.
Ranked in the top 10 at the end of 2016, Watson fell to 73rd at the end of 2017, and had fallen even further as the 2018 season progressed, hitting a low of 117th after Pebble Beach. His struggles coincided with a decision prior to last year to change golf ball companies, which seemed silly at the time and ended up looking even worse in retrospect. But after hitting his nadir, Watson rebounded in a big way, winning the Genesis Open at Riviera. He followed that up with a T9 at the WGC-Mexico, and today he won the WGC-Match Play in Austin, in dominant fashion.
Watson won his semifinal match this morning handily over would-be #1 in the world Justin Thomas, one of the hottest players going. And then, facing off against another streaking American, Watson slammed the door early, building a 7-hole lead through the first 10 holes of the match against Kevin Kisner.
That was helped by Kisner’s poor play, of course, but that’s match play, and Watson took advantage, winning 7 & 6.
This is a very good time for Watson to be peaking, two weeks out from the Masters, a tournament he’s already won twice. Augusta seems to reward certain players for various reasons, especially creative left-handers, and with Bubba back, the tournament is shaping up to be even more stacked than we could have hoped for even just a few weeks ago. Phil and Tiger, JT and Spieth, Rory, Bubba, and plenty more, all near the top of their games.
Can we just tee it up already? Please and thank you?