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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Bubba Watson
Few things affect fantasy leagues more than the four major championships. Find out which one Ryan Andrade expects Jon Rahm to take down, and also who he expects to win the other three.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Watson had a pretty solid season, posting five top-10s and nine top-25s in just 22 starts. He ranked top-10 in SG: off-the-tee at age 42 and was top-75 in both SG: total and scoring average. Watson typically does not play that many tournament compared to other players in this range, but he still appears to have some game in the tank for 2021-22.
Perhaps no one on the PGA Tour over the past decade has seen the wild swings in earnings that Watson has. He's made over $5.5 million three times in the past seven seasons, but he's also failed to crack $2 million in three of those seasons. After a down 2018-19 season, he was expected to bounce-back this past season, but that didn't happen. His cap number is still very low entering this season however, which makes him a very intriguing salary cap selection for this year.
On the whole, there aren't many guys on the PGA Tour that have better numbers than Watson over the past decade. He's finished 3rd on the FedEx list on two occasions and he's topped $6 million in earning twice also. He's won 12 events in that time and he's won multiple majors. That's the good Bubba. The bad Bubba slips into elongated spells of poor play and seems to check out as often as he shows up. This past season we saw a lot of the bad Bubba. The question is, will good Bubba show up next season? Better yet, is it worth the risk to keep him off a salary cap team? He's such a bargain at this price, that he's about as close to a "must-have" as there is.
Watson's game hit a snag in 2016-17 as he carded only four top-10s and earned little more than $1.2 million. It was the second consecutive season in which his production had dropped dramatically from the season prior. There was every reason to think that Watson had just lost his game. And then he decided that he was going to win three times in 2017-18. In other words, Bubba is back. In true Bubba fashion, he did most of his work early in the season, so his late-season fade isn't too concerning. What is concerning is the price tag for this season. While he was almost a "must-have" entering last season, he's nearly a "can't take" entering this season. Expect his production to drop this season, but not because his game has left him, but because $5.7 million is a huge earnings number and not many golfers can post a number like that in consecutive years.
Watson's drop off last season, was perhaps the most inexplicable thing that happened all year (outside of the Pampling win of course). Entering last season, six of Watson's previous seven seasons had resulted in earnings of $3 million or more, and two of those years he surpassed $6 million in earnings. Watson was often mentioned among the likes of Rory, DJ, Spieth and such because he had two majors under his belt and a ton of success at many other PGA Tour stops. Something happened last season though, as he never got on track. Whatever the reason, be it mental or an injury we were unaware of, Watson is a must have entering this season as he has too much potential at this price.
Watson has never lacked for talent, but his motivation has often come into question. Case in point, he was passed-over for a the Ryder Cup because his recent production wasn't good enough. The Ryder Cup team, for those that aren't aware, consists of eight automatic selections based on points earned and four captain's picks. Watson made neither, but he certainly had the opportunity to play more and earn more points, but he didn't. Watson played in only 19 events last season, well below most of the guys that did end up on the Ryder Cup roster, so there's no one to blame but himself. With that mind, does Bubba come out with a purpose this season? It's an interesting thought, but he's never demonstrated a passion to reach the highest levels, so it's doubtful that's something that starts this year. In draft leagues he's a solid 2nd-round pick.
Watson started the 2014 season on fire and during his hot-streak, he managed to grab his second major title -- another green jacket. After his win at the Masters, it appeared that Watson was ready to take off and take his spot among the best players in the world. While he's undoubtedly one of the top-20 players in the world, he's yet to stake claim to top-10 status because he's still very inconsistent. The talent is there, but drive is still a question. As such, he's not a good salary cap option, but should go in the top-10 in draft leagues, but probably not second overall like his spot on the 2014 money list.
Some players handle the major hangover well and some don't. Watson appears to have struggled with his new status as a major winner last year as he failed to crack the $2 million mark. Watson is clearly better than the number he posted last year, but he doesn't seemed to be fully invested in becoming a great player, which has to worry anyone who drafts him. The upside is still there, I'm just not sure we'll see it this year. He's an intriguing pick in salary cap leagues, but I'd advise against it. In draft leagues he'll probably go a bit early because of his name, but he should be in the 30-40 range.
Three players in the top 5 of the 2012 money list did not capture a major last season, but Bubba Watson did. His win came at the Masters in April, and although he suffered a bit of a hangover, missing consecutive cuts, he quickly got back on track and by season's end was again on top of his game. With the "major" hurdle already out of the way, the sky is the limit for Watson. Considering that Watson only won once last season, it seems reasonable that he could top his earnings from 2012. Obviously, that will take a lot of things falling into place. He's not a horrible salary cap pick this season, but he's certainly a risky one. In draft leagues, he should go in the first round.
The life of the "big-hitter" on the PGA Tour can be tough. While it's easier to get noticed, it's sometimes harder to get the credit you deserve. Watson has been a hot commodity on the PGA Tour since his rookie season because he can hit the ball a mile, but it wasn't until late in the 2009 season that he started to be recognized as a solid all-around player. Watson just missed on the 2009 PGA Championship, losing in a playoff to Martin Kaymer, but instead of letting that get him down, he took the positives out of that situation and parlayed it into two wins in 2010. Watson has all the tools to continue to grow on the PGA Tour, and his ascent atop the rankings should continue this year.
Lost in the sand trap debacle at Whistling Straits last year was Bubba Watson's performance at the PGA Championship. Lest anyone forget, he finished runner-up to Martin Kaymer. But much like Kaymer's win, Watson's runner-up finish was overshadowed by Dustin Johnson's misfortune. In addition to his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, Watson earned a win, another runner-up and a third-place finish. The only drawback to his game is consistency. He's not going to produce every time out, but about once a month he's good for a solid performance. Expect Watson to improve this season, both in high-end finishes and consistency. He's a statistical stud. What he lacks in accuracy off the tee, he makes up for in every other aspect of his game.
Is Watson all hype? He's yet to accomplish much on the PGA TOUR, yet he's probably one of its most recognizable names. It's obvious that the long hitters garner more attention than other PGA TOUR golfers, but sooner or later, you have to produce if you want to be considered among the best. Watson came close last season to breaking through, but he was never able to close the deal. At this price, Watson is certainly worth a look, but don't expect him to garner $4 million in a season anytime soon.
Watson has played below expectations over the last two years and he's bound to break through at some point. He's a safe pick because he won't come in any lower than his 2008 number, but his upside is huge. Watson reported severe allergies at the AT&T National causing him the withdraw after nine holes.
Bubba Watson can hit the ball a long way, now Bubba needs to learn how to find a fairway. Watson has been the PGA Tour leader in driving distance the last two seasons, but it has come at the expense of his accuracy. What I like about Watson though, is that he dramatically improved his putting from year one to year two, up to 86th on tour from 148th his rookie season. If he stays on that track and improves his accuracy even just a little, he should see a dramatic improvement in his overall numbers in 2008.
For all the attention Watson received early last season, he really didn't accomplish much after the first few events. He finished fourth at the Sony Open in January, third at the Chrysler Classic of Tucson in February and did little the rest of the way. He did pick up the pace toward year's end, which is a good sign, but it's hard to know how far out on a limb you should go with Watson. The driving distance is nice to have and he was top 50 in greens. He just needs the putter to come around. It eventually will, just not sure it will be in 2007.
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Leads in SG: Approach in Phoenix
Watson carded a two-under 69 on Sunday at the WM Phoenix Open to finish in a share of 14th place.
Expected to play in 3M Open
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