With all the talk about 54-hole leader Peter Hanson hearing footsteps from Phil Mickelson, Lefty being on the cusp of donning his fourth green jacket, and, of course, all-Tiger-all-the-Time, there’s a guy in pink and white who could boom his way to the top of the Augusta National leaderboard by Sunday night.
Bubba Watson, who started Masters Sunday just three shots off the pace at 6-under (before Louis Oosthuizen took the lead after firing the first double-eagle ever televised at the Masters), has flown under the radar -- despite his booming tee shots and azalea pink driver. His tennis-like togs, however, have received a great deal of notice from observers wondering what’s up with the all-white outfits. Turns out that sporting the sparkling Travis Mathew Apparel threads at Augusta represented the first leg in Watson’s philanthropic “Grand Slam Drive for Charity.”
The aim is to raise some $300,000 for a variety of charities in the Southern California area. This week, the beneficiary of Watson’s philanthropy is Fresh Start, which provides cosmetic reconstructive surgery for children with physical defects or disabilities. All proceeds from the sales of Watson’s limited-edition outfits will go directly to the organization and toward the golfer’s “Bubba & Friends Drive to a Million” campaign, of which his pink G20 driver is a part. TM Apparel will choose a number of limited-edition polos to match Watson’s outfits for each major of the 2012 season.
This is not the first time that Watson’s unusual TM attire has drawn attention. A portion of the sales from limited editions of the camouflage golf trousers he wore during last year’s U.S. Open benefited Birdies for the Brave’s Green Beret Foundation.
As for the pink driver, Ping will donate $300 to Watson’s foundation for each of the the first 300 drives that “Bubba Long” launches more than 300 yards this year.