There’s a whole lot of showman in Bubba Watson, as those watching him conduct an exhibition on the range saw during the PGA Merchandise Show Demo Day in Florida. The two-time Masters champ showed the shot-shaping creativity he’s known, wowing the crowd as he hit swooping fades and arching draws on call with his signature pink Ping G driver.
No doubt, Watson could stand on a range and hit drivers all day long. But it was when he got the request to hit a different shot that he appeared most excited. A spectator asked if he could try “the Masters shot” – the hooked wedge from the trees he hit in the playoff off the 10th hole in 2012 to win his first green jacket.
It’s not the first time he has been asked to recreate the memorable moment, yet Watson’s body language made it look that this was the most interesting shot for him to pull off. Using a his 52-degree wedge, Watson glowingly prefaced his swing: “I’m just going to rope it as far as I can.”
Watching the lefty move the ball seemingly 25 metres left to right, the crowd let out the biggest ovation of the afternoon. “It never gets old,” Watson said.
The crowds asked a variety of questions, all of which Watson entertainingly answered, including what was the longest drive he’s ever hit in a tour event.
“I hit one 427 yards at Akron one year, with Tiger in the group,” Watson said. “He didn’t care. When you have 80 wins, he doesn’t care what I’m doing.”
During the Q&A session, Watson revealed an intriguing goal he still has before he finishes his US PGA Tour career, one that doesn’t involve winning more majors or claiming the No.1 spot on the World Ranking.
“One of my goals is to make every cut [for an entire season] on tour,” he said.
It’s something Watson has been inching closer to in recent years. Since 2012, he has missed no more than three cuts in any single season. In the 2015-’16 season, he made the cut in his first 17 stroke-play events before coming up short in the first FedEx Cup playoff event, the Barclays in August.
Watson has yet to miss a cut in the 2016-’17 season, albeit he’s played just two events, the WGC-HSBC Champions and the SBS Tournament of Champions, neither of which has a cut.