PGA Championship marks Bubba Watsons first tournament as official dad
KIAWAH ISLAND — The emotion came right through the tweet: “Everyone, adoption is final! FYI, I may have cried!”
Masters champion Bubba Watson made the announcement Monday on his Twitter feed. He and his wife, Angie, have adopted a 51/2-month old boy named Caleb, with the adoption becoming final on Monday. That makes this week’s 94th PGA Championship Watson’s first tournament as an official dad.
And the 32-year-old left-hander from Bagdad, Fla., couldn’t be happier.
“Monday was a great day for us,” Watson said Tuesday after a practice round at the Ocean Course. “The adoption is final, and that’s the most important thing. And now we’re going on to win this tournament.”
The adoption has been a long process for the Watsons, and Bubba has missed some tournaments because of it.
“Golf obviously is way down the list of priorities,” he said. “That (the adoption) came first. A lot of people go through it, but trying to travel across the U.S., trying to travel outside the country and playing golf made it a little bit more difficult. But somehow it all worked out.”
And now Bubba will work out how to balance being a dad and one of the biggest stars in golf.
“Hopefully I will do better in the family man than the golf, because that’s the most important,” he said. “My wife comes first, then the baby, and golf is down the list.”
“If I never play golf again, I can still be a great dad. That’s the key, and that’s where my life stands.”
Watson and Phelps
Watson has 663,813 followers on Twitter, and said Tuesday that one of his Twitter buddies is Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps. They trash talk about competing in their chosen sports.
“Hey,” said Bubba, “I believe in my ability to swim. I grew up on the beach.”
Karlsson’s new caddy
Sweden’s Robert Karlsson recently fired his caddy, and could benefit from the local knowledge of his new caddy — Ocean Course caddy Robert Fisher. Fisher had caddied for Karlsson during an earlier trip to Kiawah, and it looks like the pair will team up at least through the PGA. Another Ocean Course caddy, Mike Warren, is working for golfer Mike Small, the golf coach at Illinois and a PGA qualifier.
Dave Stockton, captain of the victorious ’91 Ryder Cup team, was back at the Ocean Course and beaming Tuesday. The venue was unusually challenging then and now, Stockton said.
“I’ll tell you what, as a captain in ’91, I was so glad to wish everybody good luck and leave it on the first tee knowing that I didn’t have to go out and hit a shot,” he said.
Tickets for friends
It was a buyer’s market on the web with Facebook friends trying to give Tuesday practice round tickets away, making the mostly sunny experience one of the best buys in big-time sports this year. Official prices at www.pga.com go up from $55 for Tuesday to $70 for today.
Phil Mickelson is part of an ownership group that reached agreement Monday to buy Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres for $800 million. The group also includes former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley.
Tiger Woods was asked Tuesday if he might want to own his favorite pro sports franchise.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I just need a lot more money. My teams are the Lakers, Dodgers and the Raiders, so I’ve got to play really well.”