Masters champion Bubba Watson, the latest left-hander to prevail at Augusta National Golf Club, heads into Thursday’s title defense ranked No. 14 in the world golf rankings.
Watson, 34, has cracked the top 25 in five of six events he has played on the 2013 PGA Tour, with two top-10 finishes. He ranks seventh among tour participants in driving distance (301.5 average), 11th in greens in regulation (71.2 percentage) and 14th in birdie average (4.24 per round).
A native of Bagdad, Fla., Watson became the fifth lefty to win the Masters in the past decade when he prevailed over Louis Oosthuizen at the 2012 event with a par on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.
Watson rescued par after driving deep into the left rough by carving a spectacular gap wedge approach around some trees to within 10 feet of the flagstick. Watson played roughly 40 yards of movement on the shot that set up a two-putt par to trump Oosthuizen’s bogey on the first playoff hole.
Unlike last year, when Watson won while his wife, Angie, was home with their newly adopted son, the entire family will be on hand at Augusta National for the title defense. Watson hopes that his son Caleb, who celebrated his first birthday in February, will be able to walk with him during Wednesday’s par-3 competition.
Watson weighed in on a variety of topics during a recent teleconference. Here is a look at Bubba in his own words: