Saturday, April 7, 2012
Updated: April 9, 2:00 PM ET
What's next for Bubba Watson?
So Bubba from Bagdad is the 2012 Masters champion, eh? Not bad for a guy who's never had a lesson or a teacher.
So what does the future hold for golf's newest major champion?
Our experts analyze all that and more in our latest edition of Masters Four-Ball.
1. Where did Bubba Watson win the Masters?
Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Bubba won the Masters with that amazing recovery shot on the second hole from the trees.
Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: You can point to the great shot on the second playoff hole from out of the woods, but he's not in the playoff without the birdie at the par-3 16th. It was his fourth in a row and got him to 10 under par, which eventually put him in the playoff with Louis Oosthuizen.
Andy North, two-time U.S. Open champion and ESPN golf analyst: Obviously the four birdies at 13, 14, 15 and 16 were huge, but that first birdie at 13, coming right after that bogey at 12, that really got him going.
Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com senior national columnist: Are you kidding? With that gap wedge shot for the ages on the second playoff hole. Jaw-dropping shot.
2. What's the limit for Bubba Watson going forward?
Farrell Evans: Bubba can be a regular winner. He's that creative and freewheeling and he's never going to fall in the trap of trying to change his ways to fit into a cookie-cutter idea of a major champion. He'll still go without a teacher or a mental coach or too much thinking.
Bob Harig: His own quirkiness. Watson has great imagination, and his odd approach often helps him. But now it will all escalate as a major champion. Can he handle it?
Andy North: He's a terrific talent. With his length, imagination and ability to hit all kinds of shots, his game is growing and keeps getting better. I see a huge upside for him.
Gene Wojciechowski: He'll always be a factor at Augusta National because of how far he hits and his shot-making creativity. And I wouldn't be surprised if he challenges at the Open Championship this summer.
3. Which moment had a bigger impact on the Masters, Oosthuizen's double-eagle or Phil Mickelson's triple-bogey?
Farrell Evans: Phil's triple-bogey. It changed the whole complexion of the tournament. You no longer had a three-time champion really in the mix to put pressure on the leaders.
Bob Harig: Mickelson's triple. As it turns out, had he simply made a bogey at the hole -- which would likely be the worst score he made had his shot not hit the grandstand -- he'd have been in a playoff.
Andy North: They probably were pretty close to being tied, but I think the fact that once Phil made that triple, he wasn't there at the top of the leaderboard to put pressure on everybody else, and that really made a difference.
Gene Wojciechowski: Lefty's triple. If he had just bogeyed the hole, he would have been in the playoff. Then who knows what happens?
4. Grand Slam talk after the Masters is always dicey, but does Bubba Watson have the type of game that could win more than one major in a year?
Farrell Evans: Bubba can hit it straight enough for the U.S. Open. His game is creative enough for the British Open. And anybody can win the PGA. So he has a chance for the Grand Slam. But I don't think he can concentrate long enough to do it.
Bob Harig: He lost in a playoff at the PGA and has now won the Masters. His game would seemingly be well suited to a British Open, especially with his creativity and length. The U.S. Open might be tough. But winning more than one major in a year is a big ask for anyone.
Andy North: I think with his length, and if he putts well, he always has that ability to win. He showed this week and at the PGA a couple of years ago that he's not afraid of the big stage.
Gene Wojciechowski: See answer to Question 2. I think Bubba could win two this year -- if he can handle the pressure, hype, etc.