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Bubba Watson
Watson in 2007
Personal information
Full name Gerry Lester Watson Jr.
Nickname Bubba
Born (1978-11-05) November 5, 1978 (age 44)
Bagdad, Florida
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)
Nationality  United States
Residence Pensacola, Florida
Angie Watson
(m. 2004)
Children 2
College Faulkner State C.C.
University of Georgia
Turned professional 2002
Current tour(s) LIV Golf
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Nationwide Tour
Professional wins 14
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 12
European Tour 4
Other 2
Best results in Major Championships
(Wins: 2)
The Masters Tournament Won: 2012, 2014
U.S. Open T5: 2007
The Open Championship T23: 2012
PGA Championship 2nd: 2010

Gerry Lester "Bubba" Watson Jr. (born November 5, 1978) is an American professional golfer. He has played predominantly on the PGA Tour, and is a multiple major champion, with victories at the Masters Tournament in 2012 and 2014. In February 2015, Watson reached a career-high 2nd place in the Official World Golf Ranking.

One of few left-handed golfers on the PGA Tour, Watson has consistently been among the longest drivers; in 2007, he had an average drive of 315.2 yards (288.2 m). He can hit a ball over 350 yards (320 m) and up to 194 mph (312 km/h). He has finished top of the driving distance statistics five times, during the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, and 2014 seasons.

Amateur career

Watson was born and raised in Bagdad, Florida, near Pensacola. He played on the golf team at Milton High School, just after future PGA Tour members Heath Slocum and Boo Weekley. Watson played golf for Faulkner State Community College in nearby Baldwin County, Alabama, where he was a junior college All-American. He transferred to the University of Georgia, the defending NCAA champions, and played for the Bulldogs in 2000 and 2001. As a junior, Watson helped lead the Bulldogs to the SEC title in 2000.

Professional career

Watson turned professional in 2002 and joined the Nationwide Tour, where he played until 2005. He finished 21st on the Nationwide Tour's money list in 2005, making him the last player to qualify for the following year's PGA Tour. As a rookie in 2006, he earned $1,019,264 (90th overall) and led the PGA Tour in driving distance at 319.6 yards (292.2 m). His longest drive in professional competition was 424 yards (388 m) on the PGA Tour at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Watson played well at the 2007 U.S. Open. He was in the final group on Saturday after shooting rounds of 70-71 (+1) at Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh. Watson was one stroke off the lead after 36 holes but then slipped, shooting 74 (+4) in both the third and fourth rounds; he finished in a tie for fifth.


Watson claimed his first PGA Tour win on June 27, 2010, in Cromwell, Connecticut, at the Travelers Championship on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff with Corey Pavin and Scott Verplank. Watson tearfully dedicated the win to his parents, specifically his father who was battling cancer.

Watson was runner-up to Martin Kaymer at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, falling in the three-hole aggregate playoff that included Dustin Johnson until he incurred a two-stroke penalty on the 72nd hole. Watson led the playoff after a birdie on the first hole, but Kaymer birdied the par-3 second hole to tie, effectively turning the playoff into sudden-death. Watson's second shot found the water hazard and Kaymer bested him by a stroke to win the major championship.

Watson had his own clothing line called "Bubba Golf" at the former Steve & Barry's. He was invited on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after he sent her a video of a golf trick shot he completed for her birthday.


On January 30, 2011, Watson won his second PGA Tour event, the Farmers Insurance Open, finishing one stroke ahead of runner-up Phil Mickelson. Watson picked up his second win of the 2011 season and third career PGA Tour title on May 1 when he defeated Webb Simpson at the second playoff hole at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Both players birdied the first playoff hole, with Watson holing a 12-footer; he birdied the next hole to win the tournament.

In July 2011, Watson provoked controversy by criticizing the Alstom Open de France on the European Tour, in which he was playing under a sponsor's exemption. He indicated after his first round that he would not be playing any further events on the European Tour, and complained after his second round about security and organization at the tournament.

Watson took part in the Long Drive Contest for charity at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions alongside Dustin Johnson and Robert Garrigus. He finished in second place, with a longest drive of 370 yards (338 m) behind a drive of over 400 yards (366 m) by Jamie Sadlowski.


Watson at Schüco Open, 2012

Watson began the year with three top-5 finishes in seven events, including finishing second at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Masters win

Watson's first major championship win came at the Masters. He began the final round at six-under-par, three strokes off the lead, held by Peter Hanson. On the back nine, Watson bogeyed the par-3 12th hole to return to even par for the round. He then recorded four consecutive birdies for a round of 68 (-4) and tied for the 72-hole lead with fourth-round playing partner Louis Oosthuizen at ten-under-par. In the sudden-death playoff, Oosthuizen and Watson both made par on the uphill 18th hole. On the next hole, the downhill 10th, both drove their tee shots towards the woods to the right of the hole. Oosthuizen's landed in the rough 220 yards (200 m) away, while Watson's ball landed deep in the woods on pine straw, 164 yards (150 m) from the pin without a clear shot to the green. Watson executed a miraculous recovery shot with 40 yards of hook on his 52-degree gap wedge and stopped the ball within fifteen feet of the hole. Oosthuizen's approach shot landed short of the green, but he chipped past the hole and narrowly missed his lengthy putt for par. Watson trickled his birdie putt a foot past the hole, took his time on the very short par putt, then made it for the emotional victory. The win took him to a world ranking of four, a career-high at the time.

Rest of 2012

Following his Masters win, Watson began to struggle. He missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament and the U.S. Open. A week after the U.S. Open, he finished tied for second at the Travelers Championship. A month later, he played Open Championship, the third major of the year. While shooting a first round of −3 to tie him at third place, he never advanced much after that, finishing tied for 23rd place. In the final major of the year, the PGA Championship, Watson tied for 11th. He finished the year with one win, six top-5 finishes, seven top-10 finishes and three missed cuts.


Watson began the season playing the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where he finished tied for fourth place, and reached the quarterfinals in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. In the subsequent World Golf Championship event, the WGC-Cadillac Championship, he began very strong with rounds of 66 and 69, but finished with rounds of 71 and 75 and tied for 18th place.

After finishing tied 14th place in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he returned to the Masters as the defending champion. Never in contention in the tournament, he finished 50th after a final round of 77. Watson tied for 37th at The Players Championship. On the second major of the year, the U.S. Open, he finished with a solid 71 in the first round, just four shots off the lead, but a second round score of 76 left him out of contention, and he tied for 32nd. At the Travelers Championship he took the lead after a second round of 67, but in the final round, leading by one with three to play, he triple-bogeyed the par-3 16th and finished two shots back in 4th place.

Tying for 30th at the Greenbrier Classic, he then played in the third major of the year, The Open Championship. After two solid rounds of 70 and 73, he shot 77 in the third round, and tied for 32nd.


At the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Watson held the lead for most of the tournament, but he finished runner-up to Kevin Stadler.

Watson earned his fifth career PGA Tour victory—and his first since the 2012 Masters—at the 2014 Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club. He shot back-to-back 64s over the weekend to defeat runner-up Dustin Johnson by two strokes. The victory raised him to 14 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He followed that win with two more strong finishes—a ninth-place tie in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and a second-place tie in the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Those performances elevated him from 14 to 12 in the world ranking.

Second Masters win

Watson won the Masters by three shots, with a score of 280 (−8). He entered the final round tied for the lead with 20-year-old Masters rookie Jordan Spieth. Playing together in the final pairing, Spieth birdied the seventh hole for a two-stroke lead over Watson. However, the momentum turned on the par-5 eighth hole. Spieth had a birdie putt, but ended up three-putting for bogey while Watson birdied to pull into a first-place tie. Then, on the ninth hole, Watson birdied again while Spieth bogeyed, and the four-shot swing over two holes gave Watson a lead that he never relinquished in a win over Spieth and Jonas Blixt. With the win, Watson became the 17th player to win the Masters two or more times. The win moved him again to number four in the Official World Golf Ranking.


Watson won the Travelers Championship to move him to third in the Official World Golf Ranking. He garnered his second victory in 2015 by winning the unofficial Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, besting fellow American Patrick Reed by three strokes.


Prior to the Waste Management Phoenix Open in early February, Watson caused a bit of controversy after publicly admitting his dislike for the course, TPC Scottsdale. As a result, he was jeered by fans for the majority of the tournament, later criticizing the media for "turning his words around". Two weeks later though, he returned to the winner's circle after winning the Northern Trust Open at Riviera for a second time in three years, seeing off the challenge of Adam Scott and Jason Kokrak to win by one shot on 15-under-par.


Watson did not chalk a win during the 2017 season, and missed the cut at three of the year's four majors (his only cut a T27 at The Open Championship). He had five top-10 finishes with more than $1.3 million in tour earnings.


The 2018 season started with a T7 at the QBE Shootout in December 2017 marking the best of his first six starts. Watson returned to the winner's circle with a 12-under finish at the Genesis Open in February, his third victory at this tournament (2014, 2016), all at Riviera. His trifecta at the Genesis (previously known as the Los Angeles Open, Northern Trust Open, and Nissan Open) makes him only the fifth to win this long-standing event at least three times, along with Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Lloyd Mangrum, and Macdonald Smith. On March 25, he gained his eleventh tour win at the WGC-Dell Match Play event in Austin, Texas, with a winner's share of $1.7 million. On June 24, 2018, he won again at the Travelers Championship winning $1.26 million at TPC River Highlands. This was his third career victory at the Travelers tournament (2010, 2015).

In September 2018, Watson qualified for the U.S. team participating in the 2018 Ryder Cup. Europe defeated the U.S. team 17 1/2 to 10 1/2. Watson went 1–2–0. He lost his singles match against Henrik Stenson.


On July 29, 2022, Watson announced that he had joined LIV Golf as a non-playing team captain for the remainder of the season while he recovered from a torn meniscus, with the intention of returning to play from 2023. On August 10, he announced that he had resigned from the PGA Tour.

Personal life

Watson was nicknamed by his father after the former professional American football player Bubba Smith. Watson is married to Angela "Angie" Watson (née Ball), a 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Canadian whom he met at Georgia while he was on the golf team and she was on the women's basketball team. They were married in September 2004. In 2009, she was diagnosed with an enlarged pituitary gland, which accounts for her height.

Unable to have a child naturally, various family issues, including the illness and death of Watson's father in 2010, kept them from attempting to adopt until 2011–12. In March 2012, one week after a potential adoption fell through at the last moment, Watson and his wife adopted a one-month-old baby boy named Caleb. In late 2014 the Watsons adopted a baby girl.

Watson's father, Gerry Sr., died on October 15, 2010, of throat cancer. His mother is Molly Marie Watson and he has a sister, Melinda Watson Conner.

Watson is also a member of the "Golf Boys", a boy band consisting of Watson, Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler, and Hunter Mahan. Their single "Oh Oh Oh" is currently on YouTube. The video was produced by Farmers Insurance Group. Farmers donates $1000 to charity for every 100,000 views the video gets.

In 2011, he made a humorous appearance in the song "Michael Jackson" by Christian hip hop artist Andy Mineo on the album Formerly Known. He was featured in the song "Ima Just Do It" by KB, another Christian hip hop artist, on the album Tomorrow We Live. His prototype Golf Cart Hovercraft, the BW1, YouTube video has earned more than 8 million views.

Watson is a committed Christian who speaks openly about the importance of faith in his life.

Watson purchased the mansion in the Isleworth community of Windermere, Florida, that was previously owned by Tiger Woods. In 2013, he was added to the list of Great Floridians by Governor Rick Scott.

Watson purchased a General Lee car from the television series The Dukes of Hazzard at auction for $110,000 in 2012. Following the Charleston church shooting in June 2015, display of the Confederate flag - which is featured on the car's roof - became the subject of renewed controversy. Watson responded by saying he would paint over the flag with the American flag.

In 2015, Watson moved to Pensacola, where he has become very involved in the community. Among other ventures, Watson opened an ice cream store, purchased a part ownership in the Pensacola Blue Wahoos Minor League Baseball team, and purchased a Chevrolet dealership in nearby Milton, Florida. Watson has made significant donations to the Studer Family Children's Hospital in Pensacola. In 2016, he announced that he plans to run for mayor of Pensacola at some future date.

Professional wins (14)

PGA Tour wins (12)

Major championships (2)
World Golf Championships (2)
Other PGA Tour (8)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
1 Jun 27, 2010 Travelers Championship 65-68-67-66=266 −14 Playoff United States Corey Pavin, United States Scott Verplank
2 Jan 30, 2011 Farmers Insurance Open 71-65-69-67=272 −16 1 stroke United States Phil Mickelson
3 May 1, 2011 Zurich Classic of New Orleans 66-68-70-69=273 −15 Playoff United States Webb Simpson
4 Apr 8, 2012 Masters Tournament 69-71-70-68=278 −10 Playoff South Africa Louis Oosthuizen
5 Feb 16, 2014 Northern Trust Open 70-71-64-64=269 −15 2 strokes United States Dustin Johnson
6 Apr 13, 2014 Masters Tournament (2) 69-68-74-69=280 −8 3 strokes Sweden Jonas Blixt, United States Jordan Spieth
7 Nov 9, 2014 WGC-HSBC Champions 71-67-69-70=277 −11 Playoff South Africa Tim Clark
8 Jun 28, 2015 Travelers Championship (2) 62-67-68-67=264 −16 Playoff England Paul Casey
9 Feb 21, 2016 Northern Trust Open (2) 66-68-67-68=269 −15 1 stroke United States Jason Kokrak, Australia Adam Scott
10 Feb 18, 2018 Genesis Open (3) 68-70-65-69=272 −12 2 strokes United States Tony Finau, United States Kevin Na
11 Mar 25, 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play 7 and 6 United States Kevin Kisner
12 Jun 24, 2018 Travelers Championship (3) 70-63-67-63=263 −17 3 strokes England Paul Casey, United States Stewart Cink,
United States J. B. Holmes, United States Beau Hossler

PGA Tour playoff record (5–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2010 Travelers Championship United States Corey Pavin, United States Scott Verplank Won with par on second extra hole
Pavin eliminated by par on first hole
2 2010 PGA Championship Germany Martin Kaymer Lost three-hole aggregate playoff;
Kaymer: E (4-2-5=11),
Watson: +1 (3-3-6=12)
3 2011 Zurich Classic of New Orleans United States Webb Simpson Won with birdie on second extra hole
4 2012 Masters Tournament South Africa Louis Oosthuizen Won with par on second extra hole
5 2014 WGC-HSBC Champions South Africa Tim Clark Won with birdie on first extra hole
6 2015 Travelers Championship England Paul Casey Won with birdie on second extra hole

Other wins (2)

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
1 Jun 24, 2008 CVS Caremark Charity Classic
(with Colombia Camilo Villegas)
61-34=95|align=center|−15 Playoff United States Billy Andrade and United States Davis Love III,
United States Paul Goydos and United States Tim Herron,
United States Rocco Mediate and United States Brandt Snedeker
2 Dec 6, 2015 Hero World Challenge 67-67-63-66=263 −25 3 strokes United States Patrick Reed

*Note: The 2008 CVS Caremark Charity Classic was stopped after 28 holes due to heavy rain.

Other playoff record (1–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2008 CVS Caremark Charity Classic
(with Colombia Camilo Villegas)
United States Billy Andrade and United States Davis Love III,
United States Paul Goydos and United States Tim Herron,
United States Rocco Mediate and United States Brandt Snedeker
Won by 1 stroke in three-hole aggregate playoff
2 2014 PGA Grand Slam of Golf Germany Martin Kaymer Lost to birdie on first extra hole

Playoff record

PGA Tour of Australasia playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2005 MasterCard Masters Australia Robert Allenby Lost to par on first extra hole

Nationwide Tour playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponents Result
1 2004 Lake Erie Charity Classic New Zealand Michael Long, United States Kevin Stadler Stadler won with par on fourth extra hole
Long eliminated by par on first hole

Major championships

Wins (2)

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner(s)-up
2012 Masters Tournament 3 shot deficit −10 (69-71-70-68=278) Playoff1 South Africa Louis Oosthuizen
2014 Masters Tournament (2) Tied for lead −8 (69-68-74-69=280) 3 strokes Sweden Jonas Blixt, United States Jordan Spieth

1Defeated Louis Oosthuizen in a sudden-death playoff: Watson (4-4), Oosthuizen (4-5).

Results timeline

Results not in chronological order in 2020.

Tournament 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament T20 42
U.S. Open CUT T5 CUT T18
The Open Championship CUT
PGA Championship CUT 70 CUT
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Masters Tournament T38 1 T50 1 T38 T37 CUT T5
The Open Championship CUT T30 T23 T32 CUT CUT T39 T27 CUT
PGA Championship 2 T26 T11 CUT T64 T21 T60 CUT CUT
Tournament 2019 2020 2021 2022
Masters Tournament T12 57 T26 T39
PGA Championship CUT T71 80 T30
U.S. Open CUT T31 T50
The Open Championship T51 NT

     Win      Top 10      Did not play CUT = missed the half-way cut
T = tied
NT = No tournament due to COVID-19 pandemic


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 2 0 0 3 3 5 14 13
PGA Championship 0 1 0 1 1 3 16 10
U.S. Open 0 0 0 1 1 2 15 7
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 1 11 6
Totals 2 1 0 5 5 11 56 36
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 9 (2019 Open – 2022 PGA, current)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (five times)

Results in The Players Championship

Tournament 2007 2008 2009
The Players Championship CUT CUT T37
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
The Players Championship CUT T45 T37 T48 T42 T43 CUT T57 T56
Tournament 2020 2021 2022
The Players Championship C CUT T68

     Did not play CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
C = Canceled after the first round due to the COVID-19 pandemic

World Golf Championships

Wins (2)

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
2014 WGC-HSBC Champions 3 shot deficit −11 (71-67-69-70=277) Playoff South Africa Tim Clark
2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play n/a 7 and 6 United States Kevin Kisner

Results timeline

Results not in chronological order before 2015.

Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Championship 72 2 T18 T2 3 2 T38 T9 T27 T18 T54
Match Play 4 R32 R16 R16 T17 T28 R16 1 T40 NT1 R16 T26
Invitational T22 T21 T19 T27 T37 2 T14 T17 T31 T9 T25
Champions 33 T8 1 T35 T54 T28 NT1 NT1 NT1

1Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
     Win      Top 10      Did not play QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
NT = no tournament
"T" = tied
Note that the Championship and Invitational were discontinued from 2022.

PGA Tour career summary

Season Starts Cuts
2nd 3rd Top-10 Top-25 Best
list rank
2002 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 CUT 0 n/a
2004 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 CUT 0 n/a
2006 27 15 0 0 1 3 6 T3 1,019,264 90
2007 26 14 0 1 0 5 9 T2 1,654,807 55
2008 29 19 0 1 0 3 7 T2 1,533,523 58
2009 24 13 0 1 0 2 9 T2 1,430,244 60
2010 22 16 1 2 1 4 8 1 3,198,998 15
2011 22 19 2 0 0 3 8 1 3,477,811 16
2012 19 16 1 (1) 2 0 7 16 1 4,644,997 5
2013 21 18 0 0 0 3 10 4/T4 1,759,276 44
2014 21 18 2 (1) 3 1 8 11 1 6,336,978 2
2015 19 17 2 3 2 10 14 1 6,876,797 3
2016 19 18 1 1 0 4 9 1 3,492,842 18
2017 22 14 0 0 0 4 6 T5 1,223,129 91
2018 24 19 3 0 0 6 8 1 5,793,748 6
2019 19 14 0 0 0 3 6 1 1,558,014 71
2020 20 13 0 0 1 3 7 T3 1,565,323 53
Career* 336 243 12 (2) 14 6 68 134 1 45,565,749 14

* As of the 2020 season

U.S. national team appearances


See also

  • 2005 Nationwide Tour graduates
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