Bubba Watson’s Emotional Year On and Off Course Punctuated by PGA Championship Finish


Bubba Watson's Emotional Year On and Off Course Punctuated by PGA Championship Finish The fairytale ending is one sports cliche that never gets old. That's why, when Bubba Watson's chip on the third playoff hole hit the green on the 18th hole at Whistling Straits, golf fans everywhere did everything they could to will the ball to the hole.

The ball got to the hole alright. It just didn't stop there. It skipped across, looked down at the hole almost as to taunt it, then hit the pin and decided to roll away, robbing Watson of a chance to extend the playoff.

He tapped in for double bogey just moments before Martin Kaymer finished off a two-putt for bogey to win the PGA Championship and win the Wanamaker Trophy.

Of course, Watson's second shot on the par-5 18th wasn't great. It found the water. But that was just Bubba leaving it all out there, playing for the win. Literally minutes after tournament concluded, Watson expressed zero regret.

"Not one thing," he said on the CBS telecast about what he regretted or wish he had done differently. "I made a bad swing, you can't get mad at bad swings. It came up short. If I had to do it again, I'd do it. I play to win."

And after the year he's had, why not?

While Watson has made impressive strides in improving his game — he's eighth in FedEx Cup standings after never finishing higher than No. 30 — he's had to deal with his share of adversity off of the golf course.

First, Watson's father is battling cancer. And during a trip to see his father last Christmas, Bubba found out that his wife may also be suffering from the disease.

When Angie Watson started complaining of headaches, it was initially thought to be dehydration. The headaches continued and Bubba thought something might be wrong.

"So a day before Christmas, my wife went to the hospital when I was in Pensacola seeing my dad for Christmas," Watson explained on Thursday after taking the first-round lead. "She's a professional athlete, who had surgery on knees, shoulder — everywhere possible. So when she wants to go to the hospital I know something's wrong."

At the hospital is where Amy, who plays professional basketball, got the news — she had a tumor in her pituitary gland.

At his news conference on Thursday, an emotional Watson broke down crying recalling the entire event. His tears didn't really start coming until he explained that the heartbreak and sorrow had been for not.

"Two months went by and we did some more tests … man this is hard," Watson said, pausing to wipe away tears. "We went to Duke University Hospital and the doctors there said it's not a tumor. The first doctor gave us the wrong diagnosis."

While Watson's dad continues his battle against cancer, his son can take solace in the fact that his wife is healthy and they can continue to live their lives relatively care-free.

Watson broke through and picked up his first win in the Travelers Championship in late June. After the tournament ended, Angie was waiting for him to come off of the green. Bubba hugged her, pulled her close and lost it.

And while his chances to win the PGA all but sunk with his errant second shot into the water on the 75th hole of the tournament, the long-hitting Watson is making strides all while doing his best to enjoy life outside of golf just as much, if not more.

Perhaps that's why, as Watson's chip shot caromed away from the hole, essentially guaranteeing Kaymer the trophy, Watson smiled. Not only did he smile, but he laughed.

And while Watson proved that the fairytale ending cliche is sometimes truly too good to be true, his play, his reaction and his story reminded us all that there is likely no cliche truer than "it's only a game."

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