By Brant Brice
The 2012 Masters had the possibly the biggest story lines leading up to a major in history and maybe in all of golf. It included the resurgence of Tiger Woods, Phil looking like he was ready to add to his green jacket collection, Rory’s desire to make up for his 2011 choke at Augusta National and world No. 1 Luke Donald proving everyone wrong about little guys and long courses.
But since Bubba amazed us all with what could be the greatest golf shot in Masters history, my interest has been a bit under the weather and the adrenaline rush from the finish numbed me a bit since it ended. Am I the only one who has been a bit underwhelmed this last couple of weeks?
For a guy who can’t get enough golf on TV, I have watched maybe 20 holes over the last few weeks and have been wondering why. Is it because of the quality of the fields after majors or was it the emotional release I experienced as a result of the Masters finish?
I think it’s a combination of both: In typical fashion, many of the top card holders will rest a week or two prior to and subsequent to major championships. This practice, especially after the majors, spreads the field very thin in those events where there is a large number of conditional and sponsor’s exempt players competing, many of whom are seemingly older competitors, the middle of the pack PGA Tour and well known Nationwide members.
The perennial top-20 players like Brandt Snedeker, Jim Furyk, Adam Scott and the Zach Johnsons of the world win many of these post-Masters tournaments. They have a better than normal chance to pick off a win where within a full field they may have finished second or third. For me not very compelling; a DVR fast-forward fest.
I have to come clean; I didn’t think Bubba had a chance coming down the stretch. He continually amazes us with his impossible shot shapes, incredible distance and deft touch around the greens. He is nearly impossible to dislike in that he isn’t afraid to show how he feels both anger and joy. His self admitted A.D.D. and sometimes lack of focus shows up in his consistency throughout a tournament. I don’t like to pick sides but Bubba is one of the guys I root for every week not only for his golf but for his character and faith.
So after nearly two useless weeks at work prior to the Masters taking in any and everything golf, followed by the entire week of the tournament, I was a balloon ready to explode with anticipation on Sunday with a couple holes to go and one of my guys with a chance. I sat impatiently watching the drama unfold.
After he sank the winning putt, I replayed Bubba Watson’s hook shot on the playoff hole from the straw over and over again and expected a different outcome every time I watched it. I couldn’t believe he could bend a pitching wedge that much from that distance, 155 yards uphill and almost a 90 degree hook. He could be the only guy on tour capable of that shot with one exception in Phil Mickelson since he is also a lefty. Right handed golfers would have struggled to cut a ball with that high of a loft from that spot. Simply amazing!
Strangely, when he made the putt to win I realized I had been holding my breath and exhaled noticeably. I felt the release from three weeks of anticipation followed by absolute joy in my heart for Bubba. My only regret is that I wasn’t there to see it firsthand. What an amazing finish!
So after searching for the reason I have to admit I’m afraid I will be disappointed from here on out. When I woke up on Monday it was like I had a hangover. I felt a little empty for I knew no matter how many tournaments I watch from here till my last; I may never see a fairy tale ending quite like the 2012 Masters for it was truly a finish unlike any other!
Click here to read more from Brant on his blog: Golfensive thoughts and other shallow observations. You can follow Brice on Twitter @BrantBrice