A funny thing happened a couple weeks ago in Augusta, Ga. A relatively well-known "common man" won the Masters Tournament in impressive style, and a new superstar name in golf was born: "Bubba." For his next trick, the PGA TOUR's Bubba Watson will need to show golf fans across the globe that he can continue to perform in the spotlight.
If you were to ask Watson about his experience being atop of the golf world -- albeit figuratively -- he will undoubtedly shrug off the notion and give you a cookie-cutter response. He's just happy to be here, he'd like to thank his family and the "Big Guy upstairs," he'll never forget where he came from, etc. Oh, if it were only that easy, Bubba.
Next week he will defend his title at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, but he will be defending something much bigger than a trophy from last season. Bubba will also need to meet the expectations he has placed on himself and those of public opinion after winning his first major. While this should be no surprise to the PGA TOUR veteran -- he has had a front-seat view of his fellow competitors dealing with similar circumstances -- this will be the first time Bubba will be on the receiving end of this level of attention.
Obvious questions will also be asked about the Masters champion, including the possibility of winning the Grand Slam. Can Bubba go 4-for-4 in the majors this season? After all, he is the only player in the world who has the opportunity to do so.
That opportunity continues in June when the US Open will take place at San Francisco's Olympic Club. The same player winning the first two legs of the Grand Slam is difficult and rare enough, having only happened six times by five different players (Tiger was the most recent in 2002).
Can Bubba handle the pressure for the remainder of the season, including three remaining major championships? Surely that is a question he will be unable to shrug off.