Rewind to the start of the year and the discussions about golfers who would set the game alight in 2018. We heard many shouts of DJ, Spieth and Rory in the office but, come on, how many of us thought Bubba Watson would be the one blazing a trail?
Last week saw the third win of the year for the two-time Masters champion at the Travelers Championship in Compton, Connecticut and he has recovered from a lowly 117th in the Official World Golf Rankings (in 2016) to a rather more respectable 13th position.
The fact that we are now talking of the creative left-hander as a likely front-runner for the Player of the Year award at the end of the PGA Tour season shows just how quietly he has crept up on the rails this year.
Relive Bubba's trio of wins in 2018
Genesis Open (February 2018)
Back in mid-February Bubba secured his tenth Tour title by taking the Genesis Open by two shots over Kevin Na.
Despite previously joking that he would retire if he managed to hit the magic 10 victories mark, he would, thankfully, renege on that threat and continue to grace 2018 PGA Tour fields.
Watch Bubba talking about his emotional win in Southern California:
WGC Dell Match Play (March 2018)
Everyone loves a Match Play, right? Bubba definitely does after bagging a cool $1.7M during the World Golf Championship Dell Match Play in Austin, Texas back in March.
In defeating Justin Thomas in the semifinal he would delay the young Kentuckian's rise to the summit of golf, and a dominant 7&6 final victory over Kevin Kisner gave him a second WGC event on an ever-growing list of golfing achievements.
Bubba hardly put a foot wrong in his match against Kisner; catch the highlights (and some truly stunning shots) below:
Travelers Championship (June 2018)
In terms of securing last week's win (a third Travelers victory), as much was owed to Paul Casey's rather flat final round as was to Bubba's second stunning seven-under-par total of the week.
The Englishman had placed himself beautifully heading into Sunday's closing 18 holes and everything suggested that it would take a colossal performance to usurp the four-shot lead he had by then secured. In fact, Bubba sat a full six strokes behind the lead and, upon lifting the trophy on Sunday evening, confirmed that he wasn't considering winning the tournament for one minute.
But, as we all know, golf's a funny old game. Relive Bubba's surge up the leaderboard below:
Chance of a Third Major?
They say good things come in threes: third Travelers victory gained in 2018, three Tour wins in 2018 - perhaps a third major in 2018?
With two Green Jackets to his name (in 2012 and 2014) Bubba goes in search of another major win at The Open Championship on the fairways of Carnoustie in July and at the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in August. As we have already witnessed, you write the enigmatic and emotional Floridian off at your peril.
When he's hot, he's scorchingly so, however even this year we've seen only five top tens (with three of them wins) so Bubba would need to find some level of consistency before we could firmly believe in his credentials for winning one of the remaining 2018 majors.
Maybe that's a little foolish on our part though. His threat to the field lies in the unpredictability factor and you could rarely rule him in or out of contention with any degree of certainty.
The best thing we advise is to just sit back and enjoy the ride. That's what we intend to do!!
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