July 02, 2014
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Bubba Watson has won twice on the PGA TOUR in 2014. (Tyler Lecka/Getty Images)
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- If anyone in the field for The Greenbrier Classic feels at home this week in the West Virginia mountains, it's Bubba Watson.
He's only played in the tournament once, tying for 30th a year ago, but Watson fell in love with the area and decided to buy a home at the resort. He and his wife Angie and toddler Caleb have been in the house for the better part of the last month.
'I've got four golf courses and I've got, I think, four pools on all the properties when you add them up," Watson said. "The restaurants are great. There are a lot of activities to do outside, so it was an easy sell for me to move here and my family to move here."
Watson, who won his second Masters two months ago, estimates he's played The Old White TPC five times in the last two weeks. Jim Justice, the larger-than-life character who owns The Greenbrier, has given Watson some tips, too.
"I have been able to see it and have been able to familiarize myself with it, just trying to see what shots I want to play," Watson said. "That doesn't mean when the pressure is on and the conditions are right I'll play good, that just means I have a better chance of seeing the course a few more times. ...
"(Jim) told me his insights because he played here since he was a little kid; now he's a big kid, so he's tried to give me some advice. But it's just like every golf tournament and every course we go to, hit the fairway, hit the green, make a putt. Pretty simple, it's just hard to do."
Speaking of big kids, Watson has also been fishing with some buddies nearly every afternoon. His son also went horseback riding -- "I guess you call it riding the horse, somebody was holding the horse and we were holding him, but at 28 months old, he thinks he's doing something really cool," Watson said.
And not only does Watson like living at The Greenbrier, he's become the resort's newest celebrity. In fact, he appears on billboards in the area with NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West, a West Virginia native.
The message? "Live where the legends live" -- and Watson is still having a hard time getting comfortable with the company he's keeping.
"You're talking about 'The Logo,'" Watson said. "You're talking about Jerry West. You're talking about a legend in his sport and then there is me. Basically, it's like I won the Lotto and they put my picture up next to his."
And what would it be like to win his third event of the season in his adopted "hometown?"
"Even if I didn't have a house here it would be great to win here," Watson said. "But having a house here, living in my own bed, all that stuff, it would be really good to pull off a victory here and have a W, and I can rub it in Jim's face when I see him."