Bubba Watson apologizes for acting like a petulant child at the PGA Championship
After having some time to reflect on the events, Bubba Watson took some time on on Tuesday to apologize for his behavior during the PGA Championship at Vallhalla two weeks ago.
Watson offered up the mea culpa following a practice round ahead of the FedExCup Playoffs at The Barclays, saying he feels terrible about his conduct.
Bubba cast himself in a negative light even before the tournament started by essentially refusing to participate in the Long Drive Competition during Tuesday’s practice round. Instead of taking out driver, Watson hit a 3-iron off the 10th tee in petulant protest.
“If you look at the bigger picture, not competing in the Long Drive Contest was the first mistake,” Watson said Tuesday, quoted in USA Today. “When you look at just me as an individual, that was the selfish part, because I didn’t agree with it but there’s a lot of things that I don’t agree with that I do.”
Things got worse for Watson once the tournament began, especially in the second round when Bubba, frustrated with the wet and sloppy playing conditions, treated his caddie, Ted Scott, with extreme derision, including making the caddie tee up his ball so he wouldn’t get wet. Watson’s treatment of Scott was so poor, in fact, that a “#PrayForTedScott” hashtag started showing up on Twitter.
An extremely frustrated Watson was also caught spewing some profanity after shanking a drive into the water on the 18th hole. Television coverage captured Watson saying, “It doesn’t matter what I do man. It doesn’t matter. It’s fu**ing horses**t.”
Watson expressed remorse about his on-course conduct as well on Tuesday.
“Then you look at it from my attitude on the golf course. Because I want something so bad, that’s not the reason to do that. You still just bite your tongue and compete at a high level, don’t show emotion, and I take it overboard because I want something so bad. I want to be considered a great player. I want to win golf tournaments and I’ve got to learn on that.
” … And then my language was not good. That’s a different topic, and childish again. It’s all childish stuff and I’m trying to mature and become a better man. I take it on the chin. It was my fault. Everything’s my fault and I should be bigger and stronger and better than that.”
Everybody deserves a free pass every once in a while after engaging in some unacceptable behavior, especially when a person owns up to and apologizes for the transgressions. Watson, for the most part, appears to conduct himself in a dignified manner more often than not when golfing, respecting the game and his fellow competitors. Most accounts indicate he’s a genuinely nice guy as well, humble to a fault.
Furthermore, Watson is like most people in that mistakes can happen while under duress or stress, especially when experiencing great frustration while working. The only difference is for Watson is cameras are locked in on him when he’s doing his job, chronicling his every move and possible mistake. Just ask Johnny Manziel about that one.
It doesn’t excuse his petulant behavior, obviously, but the fact that he has apologized for it and intends to make amends of some sort by working on his behavior means it probably should be left in the past at this point.