Anti-Hero Wins Hero World Challenge: Final Thoughts

I Like The IPA More Than I Like Gerry

An 18 man field, a silly season event, an easy golf course, and a shit load of world golf rankings points available for the taking???? That sounds like the perfect recipe for some ass hat pro to make 30 birdies in four days to take advantage of the situation. Enter Gerry Watson. Bubba steam-rolled his way to a 3 shot victory over Patrick Reed at the Hero World Challenge played at the Albany resort in the Bahamas.

The facts are this: Bubba played great. Bubba deserved to win. He had a new putter in his hands from Ping that certainly seemed to agree with him. Bubba is hard to root for. Like a kid with A.D.D., Gerry always seems to be twitching and begging for you to notice him. Whether it is for a great shot or a huge fuck up you can look no further than this now infamous mud ball clip from round 1 for a classic Watson dickhead moment.

That is who he is. Eccentric, if you will. I think if he could see himself on the golf course, how he acts and what his image has become, he’d probably make some changes. He’s ignorant to this. There’s no self awareness. Most fans and media tell him how great he is. His guys in his circle do the same. His behavior is accepted by them and that makes it ok. Eventually acting like a prick will catch up with you. The shame of it all is that you cannot deny his talent. If you’ve ever watched Gerry hit a golf ball in person you know exactly how unique Watson is. No body plays golf like he does. That in itself is a pure joy to watch but the rest of Bubba is getting too hard to put up with.

In his post victory press conference Bubba was asked about becoming number one in the world (he’s currently 4th after his Sunday win). Bubba, somewhat tongue in cheek, said that if that day ever comes he’ll retire. If he doesn’t stop acting like a dick with ears I may start rooting for him to win 4 times early next year to see if he follows up on his words.

The Field

Jordan Spieth was the defending champ at the Hero. He shot 20 under, had a hole in one on his 2nd hole of the 1st round, and still lost by five. Is a 4th place finish worth anything when you only beat about 75% of the field? Word on the street is that Spieth is starting a 3 week vacation (as if being in the Bahamas for the week isn’t one?) for the holidays. He’ll be at Augusta National playing, home for Christmas, then off to Maui for the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. His life sucks.

Rickie Fowler was in the Bahamas. He trailed Watson by 4 entering the weekend and shot 65-64, but didn’t gain a shot. I also didn’t see any shots of his girlfriend on social media roaming the islands. The rumor of them being done is starting to hold a lot of water. Jason Day wasn’t in the field in spite of being in need of easy world ranking points that could have boost him in front of Jordan Spieth and back to number 1. Day opted out of the event to stay home in Ohio with wife Ellie, son Dash, and brand new daughter Lucy. Well, that’s what he said anyway. Then last Thursday night NFL Network cameras, and the ever astute Jim Nantz, caught him working the sidelines of the Lions/Packers game in Detroit.

As you can see he had NFL credentials and some sort of vest that made him an official photographer. I guess daddy needed a night out. You may also recall that Day became friends with Aaron Rodgers during his PGA Championship victory in Wisconsin last year. Perhaps this was his best chance to come and see Rodgers at his craft.

Shot Of The Week

I already told you Jordan Spieth had a hole in one. How could anything else be picked for my Shot of the Week? Actually, Bubba had a few worthy of such a prize, but he doesn’t need any more of my attention.

Great shot. And if I’m not mistaken, that is already Spieth’s 3rd ace as a PGA Tour member. I think that is one more than Tiger.

Tiger Talk 

Speaking of Tiger, this was his event, right? Yes, TW was there to play host to make it appear as though he wasn’t directly stealing money from the sponsor. With his host duties comes the responsibility to sit down and chat with whatever golf press corps was on hand on Tuesday to see and hear him. He was very candid about his life, his health, and his future. In short. Tiger has no timetable for his return from a 3rd back surgery. He plays a lot of video games, he walks, and he tries to be the best dad he can. That is all.

Tiger also stopped by the NBC/Golf Channel booth on Sunday to chat with homie Roger Maltbie. He said much of the same, but emphasized that patience is a big issue for him with the current recovery. Because no time frame is set, he doesn’t know when he’ll play, practice, etc. and its pretty much driving him crazy. And with all that, Tiger’s week of headlines had barely scratched the surface. He sat down with Time Magazine for an interview to discuss his life as his 40th birthday approaches at the end of the month.

You can read the interview in its entirety here. There’s some great shit in it. Of note, he’s still friends with Elin and says they’re close. He knows he fucked that relationship up. He admits to his kids that daddy made mistakes and that is why their parents don’t live together. He’s at peace with his career if it were to end today (due to injury). He accomplished every goal he had in golf based on what Jack Nicklaus did. He can’t stand to watch golf on TV (but will with the sound off if a friend is winning). And he peaked in life at age 11. Yes, that last quip was his attempt at humor, but he made a good case for it. According to Woods, at 11 he had straight As, the hottest girlfriend, and won all 36 tournaments he entered for the year. Wow. Maybe he did peak in ’86.

What do I think of all that? I think he’s finding peace with where his life and career are. He’s finding other things that give him self worth. I think he’s probably a pretty good dad to his kids. And I think if he ever gets healthy, his more well rounded life and appreciation for the game will make him a major champion once again. It won’t be in 2016, but somewhere down the road there will be a magical week at the Masters. Just wait.

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