- Full name Gerry Watson
- Birth date November 5, 1978
- Birth place Bagdad, Florida
- Current age 35 years 259 days
For so long a cult figure, renowned in golfing circles for his big-hitting and idiosyncratic ways, Bubba Watson - born Gerry Watson - became a mainstream figure with his memorable victory at the Masters in 2012.
A left-hander with a homemade swing that produces vast power with more than a little potential for error, Watson claims to never have received a lesson yet has still managed to propel himself to the status of major champion. At Augusta he showed all facets of his game, beating the ball prodigious distances, but also making recovery shots from ridiculous spots to save pars and making putts from all over - before breaking down in tears after beating Louis Oosthuizen at the second hole of a sudden death playoff.
Watson is far from your run-of-the-mill golfer - devoutly religious, he is also noticeable for some of the items he owns, including one of the original General Lees from the television show The Dukes of Hazzard and a $500,000 white striped watch he wears during every round. The week of his Augusta breakthrough he wore the same white with pink trim outfit in every round to support his breast cancer awareness charity, a cause for which he brandished a special, customised pink driver for the entire 2012 season.
Unheralded as an amateur, Watson was considered something of a circus act on the Nationwide Tour before his years of grinding made him more than just a big hitter. His first PGA Tour win came after a play-off at the Travelers Championship in 2010. Later that year, he would lose the US PGA Championship in a playoff against Martin Kaymer - a player who rose through the ranks in similar fashion on the European Tour.
In 2011 he won the Zurich Classic - beating Webb Simpson in a playoff - and he completed a hat-trick of professional wins (all in playoffs) at Augusta a year after that.
His wife, Angie, is a former collegiate basketball player. They pair adopted a son, Caleb, shortly before his big win in Georgia.
Career high: Winning the Masters in 2012, defeating Louis Oosthuizen in a playoff.
Career low: A renowned maverick, Watson's reputation threatened to turn sour after an ill-fated trip to play in the French Open in 2011 that saw him make a number of ill-advised comments about the country and tournament.
Quote: "This is what everybody strives to do. No matter how much you want to live your life other ways, this is an honour, a special privilege to put the green jacket on.
"I played here once a year at the University of Georgia, but I never dreamed about actually winning and sitting here and talking to you guys."
Trivia: Real name Gerry, 'Bubba' received his nickname as a full-faced baby - with his father branding him after the college football star Bubba Smith, who would go on to feature in the Police Academy films.
- Rose still in touch as Bubba slips (Jun 22, 2013)
- Bubba: Viewer rules complaints not right (Apr 13, 2013)
- Bubba blubbers over Masters memories (Apr 10, 2013)
- Woods paired with Donald, McIlroy alongside Bradley (Apr 9, 2013)
Bubba Watson on how the Masters changes a man (Apr 6, 2013)