About Bubba Watson, his ‘joke’ and his ‘love’ for journalists

Bubba Watson felt compelled to put out a video statement on Twitter, claiming he was just joking about a comment in an interview. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

AUGUSTA — So I set out to write a column Friday on what has happened to Bubba Watson, a two-time Masters winner who failed to make the cut this week after shooting 8-over par in the first two rounds and is 17-over in his last six rounds at Augusta. But what a little post-round interview turned into Friday was Watson saying something he probably shouldn’t have, getting roasted on social media for it and later claiming on Twitter that, really, he was just making a joke.

When I spoke to Watson, I referenced the fact he had lost more than 15 pounds recently and wanted to be certain he felt good physically. Watson said yes. So when I followed with the logical assumption that it was mechanics and/or mental, hoping he would expand on his struggles, it became clear Watson didn’t like that I was trying to probe his issues.

Quote: “Golf is tough. I don’t know if you’ve ever played it. But writing articles is easy. Golf is the hard part.”

I’ve worked in this profession for more than 35 years. I have a pretty good sense for when somebody is joking. Trust me when I tell you: Watson was not joking. But it wasn’t surprising, either. Watson is generally prickly with the media. I chose not to fire back (though I was tempted). In fact, the rest of the interview, while not enlightening, was cordial.

Anyway, word of this exchange outside the clubhouse at Augusta National was witnessed by only a handful of media members but that was enough for it to circulate quickly on social media (not by me). There was a backlash, moving Watson to put out a 34-second video statement on Twitter:

“Hey guys. Bubba Watson here. What I was trying to say is, make a joke, there were 30-mile-an-hour winds, golf is hard. And if Bubba Watson was trying to write an article, that would be very hard. And what I was saying to the reporter is, golf is hard, so if he tried to play golf it would be very tough. Writing an article is a lot easier for him than it is for me. It was a joke. I love all journalists. Obviously I made a bad joke, just like I played bad golf this week.”

The video:

About that sentence: “I love all journalists.” Even journalists don’t love all journalists.

Also, his comment, “I don’t know if you’ve ever played (golf). But writing articles is easy.” That’s hardly out of character for Watson. Recall the third round at the Masters last year when he sliced his drive into the woods on No. 10 and he asked a fan to give him some room, as reported by USA Today.

Watson: “Can you back up, you’re really not supposed to be back here.”

Fan: “Neither is your ball.”

Watson: “I don’t know about you but I have two green jackets, thanks for coming.”

Watson clearly is struggling now. It would serve him well to learn how to deal the issues and not just claim later, “I just trying to make a joke.”

For my full column on Bubba Watson, click here.

Subscribe to the,We Never Played The Game” podcast with the AJC’s Jeff Schultz and WSB’s Zach Klein on iTunes. Episodes also can be downloaded from on-demand link on WSBRadio.com.

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Reader Comments 0

22 comments
dawg fan
dawg fan

I still can't get over how stupid this column is. Bubba Watson is a professional golfer. He plays golf for a living. It's not his job to answer your questions or be "enlightening" in interviews. You guys are constantly writing about how the people you cover interact with you and respond to your questions. WE DON'T CARE. If I see another piece from Chip Towers or Seth Emerson on Kirby's mood during a press conference I will throw up. WE DON'T CARE. Once again, you guys in the sports media need to get over yourselves and stop acting like you are part of the story. You are not. Give us the facts and feel free to give us your opinions on RELEVANT matters where appropriate but all this crap about so and so being testy with you or "prickly with the media" is out of control. You're just whining and WE DON'T CARE.

Jm73
Jm73

You seem to view your job as to criticize others or to get people fired/cut.  95% of your columns do this. Perhaps the response was justified. 

ShovelPlease
ShovelPlease

Never good when a reporter makes himself part of the story. 

OH:IO
OH:IO

So, Schultz hangs in the glitz of the new press facility, gorges on free pimento cheeses and we get one lame column on a whining dog? 

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Peachs
Peachs

Lot of Bubbas taking it out on the press, now days!  

lowlow
lowlow

I like u Shultz but get over it.  He had a bad day, had missed the cut and was prickly.  So what!!!

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Freddy73
Freddy73

Get over it Schultz.  You shouldn't be writing for the Atlanta paper. Mark Bradley is the only good sports columnist the AJC has since Furman Bisher passed.  Maybe you should get a job with Al Jazeera and Jon Ossoff where someone might like your writings.


dawg fan
dawg fan

Sorry Jeff but I'm with Bubba. You guys in the sports media take yourselves way too seriously and too often try to make yourselves part of the story, this article being a prime example. You act as if you are above reproach but you are not. What Bubba said is 1,000% accurate. You have never played this level of golf and really have no idea what things are like for him. Quite frankly I think athletes and coaches for the most part show a lot of poise and patience with you guys and and the stupid questions you ask them.

mgunter
mgunter

Schultz ....... if I was a pro Athelete and you asked me a question, I wouldn't answer you. I have read way too many uninformed hatchet jobs you have written in th past.

Mike Wrx
Mike Wrx

It's widely known among golfers on the PGA tour that Bubba is a self-righteous, arrogant jerk.  In a poll of his peers some years back, he was voted as the one they'd be least likely to help if they saw him getting mugged in a parking lot.


Do a google search on "sbnation bubba watson temper" to read an excellent article about this truly loathsome excuse for a human being.

TOJacket
TOJacket

How did you expect a 2 time winner to react after missing the cut?

Peachs
Peachs

@TOJacket baiting and then acting surprise, no Bubba fan, but it ain't all Bubba's fault. 

MissDaisyCook
MissDaisyCook

Hey Bubba.  If you want to find your mojo, put the battle flag back on the General Lee.  

BLewis27
BLewis27

Hey Bubba, Schultz is the only one allowed to make sarcastic jokes about others. Get with the program man!

OH:IO
OH:IO

Yo Schultz, did you find out Bubba was a Conservative or something? 

OH:IO
OH:IO

What do you expect from a dog? 


Once a dog, always a dog. 


2nd Tier

K J
K J

So he made a snide comment under pressure, issued a self-deprecating apology for it, and you still burn him.


Someone is indeed really sensitive here, but it's not Bubba.


Also, as someone who has experience playing golf AND writing articles... playing golf is infinitely more difficult.