If Bubba Watson decides to give up his day job, well, he probably won’t return to the baseball field. Still, the reigning Masters champ kicked off this week’s PGA Tour stop in neighboring Connecticut by tossing the ceremonial first pitch at Monday night’s Mets-Orioles game in New York. The southpaw's toss floated all the way to the catcher without that embarrassing bounce.
Watson toed the rubber earlier this year, but at a minor league game in his home state of Florida soon after his win at Augusta National. Since then, the four-time tour winner has gone T18, missed cut, and another MC at last week’s U.S. Open. Perhaps teeing it up at the Travelers Championship, where he cadged his first PGA victory in 2010, will boost his sagging game.
Throwing out first pitches at ballgames has become something of a tradition for golfers ever since 2011 PGA champion Keegan Bradley did the honors for his hometown Red Sox prior to last summer’s Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. Since then, Watson took his turn for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, and Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson each launched Giants games before the Open in San Francisco.
Watson, whose dad hoped he would come in high and tight for the other New York nine (my deep-seated Boston roots won’t allow me to type the name of the Evil Empire), told PGATour.com that when he took the field as a youngster, he "threw hard, but mostly threw junk."
Hardly surprising coming from Watson, whose flawless twisting hook from 155 yards out to set up his triumph on the first playoff hole at the Masters in April was anything but straight down the middle.