After Friday’s round at Riviera Country Club, Bubba Watson had only made the weekend cut by a few strokes, sitting at 1-under par. Then came the weekend.
A bogey-free performance over the last 36 holes was a different brand of Bubba golf than we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. He was keeping the ball in play and he was converting on his chances. He made a handful of clutch par putts and even capped off Sunday with an 16-footer for birdie to win by 2. A 14-under par weekend was a great response to his finish at the Waste Management.
Usually we don’t see this type of golf from Bubba. Riviera places a premium on accuracy and course management coupled with great putting – not typically Bubba’s forte. But all day Sunday, Bubba made putt, after putt, after putt (and a bunker shot on 6). It was a refreshing way to watch Bubba win his first event since his 2012 Masters.
Although I was extremely impressed by the play of Bubba Watson, another player who impressed me was Jason Allred. On Friday, he burst onto the scene after a -9 start through his first 14 holes and there were whispers of a 59. He finished with a 64 and continued that momentum into the weekend, where scores of 67-68 vaulted him to a T3 finish. Remember, he was a Monday qualifier for the event. It was the first top-10 of his PGA Tour career.
All day Sunday, Allred was smiling. He seemed happy to be in contention. He hit a ton of great putts on Sunday’s telecast, smiling and laughing as they skirted the edges of the hole. Allred played his collegiate golf at Pepperdine University before turning professional in 2002. A lifetime mini-tour player, his $388,000 third place check was more than he’s taken home in his entire Web.com career.
Now, Allred has quite the dilemma. Without the proper status to enter his next Web.com Tour event, he has an exemption into the Honda Classic in two weeks. The Honda Classic is also the week his wife is due with their third child. Decisions, decisions.
But if Jason maintains the attitude and composure he displayed during Sunday’s final round telecast, I’m sure he will make the right decision.
But speaking of children and Bubba’s win, it was Bubba Watson’s adopted son Caleb who may have been the biggest fan of his dad’s golf on Sunday. He said it best when the crowd roared after Bubba’s birdie on 18.