By Tom Quiner
How many 6′ 3″ men do you know with a wife taller than he is?
Meet Gerry Lester Watson Jr., also known as “Bubba.” But it’s not the heighth of Bubba and Angie Watson that matters, nor the length of Bubba’s prodigious drives. It’s the size of the heart of these two committed Christians.
Bubba picked up his nickname from his Dad who was a fan of the late, great defensive end for the Baltimore Colts, Bubba Smith. He grew up in a podunk Florida town, Bagdad, Florida, took up golf later in life than a typical professional golfer, and never had a lesson.
We learned a lot about this self-taught golfing pro in the 2010 PGA Championship. Bubba lost the prestigious event in a playoff to Martin Kaymer. He lost with dignity, with class.
There was no club throwing.
There was no profanity, no “F -Bombs”, unlike a certain other well-known golfer, who shall remain nameless.
He seemed grateful to have made it into the play-off and heartily congratulated his rival who bested him.
In 2012, Bubba made it into another play-off in a major tournament, this time, the legendary Masters Golf Tournament. On the second play-off hole, Watson drove the ball deep into the trees onto the pine straw. In one of the most famous shots in golf history, he hit a miracle shot through the trees that hooked, and hooked, and hooked, as if it had radar, right onto the green a mere fifteen feet from the pin. Two putts later, and he was the Masters Champion.
When asked if he had dreamt about this moment, the humble Watson said, “my dreams never got this far.”
Bubba and Angie are unable to have children, so they adopted a one month old boy, Caleb, a month before Watson’s big 2012 Masters victory. Angie was unable to be there because of her new mothering responsibilities.
The seasoned Watson returned to the Masters again this year and pulled off a convincing, and less dramatic, three shot win over the field. Tears welled in his eyes as little Caleb wandered onto the green after Bubba holed his winning putt.
Watson is a committed Christian. He openly talks about the role God plays in his life. He and Angie give generously to charity.
Do nice guys finish last? Not this time.
Congratulations to Bubba on winning his second green jacket at the Masters.
[Bubba has co-starred in a very funny music video with a group called The Golf Boys. Farmers insurance donates $1000 for every one-hundred thousand views. It’s got over 7 million views already. You do the math. Watch it above and help raise even more.]