If Tiger Woods carried on the way Bubba Watson did at Riviera and two weeks earlier in Scottsdale, the boo-birds would be out in full force.
Watson, going 64-64 on the weekend to get to 15-under for the week and two shots clear of Dustin Johnson, won on Sunday for the first time since his miraculous victory at Augusta in 2012. His adorable two-year-old son Caleb was there to greet the old man and the CBS cameras ate it all up.
Watson was at his shot-making best all weekend, giving the crowd lots to cheer about and crowning a crowded highlight reel with a Jim Nantz "are you kiddin’ me" hole-out on the par-3 sixth on Sunday.
The cameras also captured the bad-tempered Bubba, a far less endearing personality than the one who weeps at the joy of winning and the sorrow of the loss of his father, lets the world know about the elation he and wife Angie experienced in adopting Caleb, bares his fun-loving chest as one of the Golf Boys, and plays golf with his boy for the first time.
Caleb's first golf hole! http://t.co/h33XzoOMX2— bubba watson (@bubbawatson) February 3, 2014
The petulance that Watson pledged some time ago was a thing of the past reared its ugly head in Scottsdale, when he missed a playoff-forcing putt at the last. It was there again on Sunday, from the start.
@GolfweekSchupak and also get pissy with the gallery…the full package on the opening hole— Brendan (@BrendanPorath) February 16, 2014
Bubba displayed his displeasure with something that happened in the gallery after he lost his drive far right on the par-4 ninth and got snippy again, perhaps with the same picture-taking culprit, before hitting his approach shot.
"There’s not much that Bubba misses," Nantz said during one of Watson’s glowering moments. "If you take a deep breath, he’s going to call you out."
It’s not only the poor schlubs outside the ropes who earn the antipathy of Bubba done wrong; his long-suffering caddie, Ted Scott, has taken the brunt of Watson’s wrath as well.
Last year at the Travelers Championship, Watson played himself out of contention in the final round, when he blew a two-shot lead on the par-3 16th by drowning one ball and launching another over the green for a triple-bogey six. Rather than suck it up and move on, Bubba picked up his bag as if he were actually going to lug it the rest of the way and blamed Scott for letting him use the wrong club.
"Water. It’s in the water. That club," Watson whined at Scott, whom he let have it again when his next shot took flight. "So you’re telling me that’s the right yardage?"
Scott, of course, took one for the team.
"I convinced him to hit the wrong club," Scott told PGATour.com’s Brian Wacker about why Watson switched from an 8-iron to a 9-iron.
"I 100 percent take responsibility for it. It's totally my fault," Scott said. "I got in the way of the painter on that one."
Bubba sorta, kinda apologized for acting like a baby with a post-Travelers tweet.
Picked the wrong club on the 16th hole. But it was still a great week. Thanks to the fans & Travelers for another great tourney!— bubba watson (@bubbawatson) June 23, 2013
Not much was made of Watson griping at Scott when his putt to get to overtime at the Phoenix Open slid by the hole, or, really, about his myriad temper tantrums at Riviera.
Just Bubba being Bubba, though one can well imagine the worldwide outrage Tiger would engender with similar outbursts.