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PGA Golfer Bubba Watson Lets His Light Shine (another Christian role model athlete)
charismanews ^ | 4-2-2012

Posted on 04/08/2012 7:54:39 PM PDT by doug from upland

NOTE: for those who didn't follow it, Watson won the Masters today. ======================================================

There’s something different about Bubba Watson.

And he doesn’t care if you know it.

The PGA golfer, who ranked 18th in the latest World Golf Rankings, realizes he’s not like most famous athletes.

In fact, he welcomes it.

“People always ask ‘Why is Bubba different?’” said Watson during a phone interview from Scottsdale, Ariz. “They’re just trying to figure it out.”

Watson’s identity is not wrapped up in his freakishly long drives from his lanky 6-foot-3, 180-pound left-handed swing—he leads the Tour with a 315-yard average.

Rather, take one look at his Twitter profile and you may figure out what’s different about Watson.

@bubbawatson: Christian. Husband. Daddy. Pro Golfer. Owner of General Lee 1.

And pay close attention to the order.

Watson is an outspoken Christian golfer and he uses his Twitter account—along with his platform as one of the PGA Tour’s magnetic personalities—to share about his faith in Christ.

“For me, it’s just showing the Light,” the 33-year-old said. “There’s people who want to put down Christians. I try to tell them Jesus loves you. It’s just a way to be strong in my faith.”

Last April, just before teeing off on the final round of the Masters, Watson took advantage of his social media platform to Tweet out two Bible verses on Sunday morning.

He followed that up, talking about his faith, his relationship with God, Tweeting out more verses and the impact of Christian artists on his iPod.

Some started complaining about his 140-character witnessing tactics, but Watson’s response was simple: Feel free to unfollow, but the talk about God wasn’t going away.

Some 100 people quit following him and in true Bubba style, he reached out and wished them well with goodbye notes.

This past month more Christian haters have tried to derail Watson’s testimony—or as he mildly puts it, “write bad stuff.”

But Watson doesn’t take offense, even when it’s the sole intent.

When someone tells him “Your God Tweets are lame,” Watson responded with “I will pray for u and ur family.”

Among the 39,000-plus messages he’s sent into the Twittersphere, he’s sure to spread the gospel message: “God made everything & saved us from our sins & gives us hope and gives us eternal life! #Godisgood”

Sometimes he’ll Tweet out some of his favorite verses: “Hebrews 13:6 So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?’”

Or he’ll use his PGA platform—like the day after taking the lead with a headline-grabbing 10-under-par 62 at last month’s Cadillac Championship—to bring God into the mainstream conversation.

Watson’s Tweet before his third round: “The most important thing in my life? Answer after I golf 18 holes with @JustinRose99. #Godisgood”

Later that day: “Most important things in my life- 1. God 2. Wife 3. Family 4. Helping others 5. Golf”

“Lecrae said it the best,” Watson said of the Christian rapper he listens to on his iPod. “He doesn’t want to be a celebrity. He doesn’t want to be a superstar. He just wants to be the middle man for you to see God through him.”

With golf’s official major season blooming this week, Watson will again try to tame azalea-laden Augusta National, where his best finish has been a tie for 20th in 2008.

But winning is no longer everything for Watson. There was a time in his life where drives slicing into the thick, 5-inch stuff or birdie putts rimming out would get the best of him and his blood pressure.

Watson will tell you, Angry Bubba was not a good look. Unbecoming, for sure.

“I was so wrapped up in ‘Why am I not winning?’ “ Watson said. “It created frustrations in my head and in my life.”

Things got so heated on the golf course, Ted Scott, his caddie since 2006, finally gave him an ultimatum.

“My caddie finally stepped up and said you’re going to have to change, or I’m going to quit,” Watson said.

Watson’s temper-laced decorum was replaced with what some call “Bubba Golf,” which stresses golf mechanics less and puts a heavy focus on just playing golf and having fun on the course.

And it’s working.

Watson won the Travelers Championship in June of 2010, the Farmer’s Insurance Open in January of 2011 and the Zurich Classic a few months later.

Last month, Watson led the Cadillac Championship after 54 holes before fading in the final round, missing a 9-foot putt by inches on the final hole that would have forced a playoff.

Old Bubba may have let that one fester for weeks. New Bubba brushed it off with a satisfied smile and slight head-tilt.

Watson credits three strong believers—Scott, along with his trainer Adam Fisher (“Fish”) and Watson’s wife Angie — as the difference in his attitude.

“I’ve really got a good team around me trying to help me succeed,” said Watson, who has long supported many charities, including the upcoming Bubba’s Bash and the infamous “Golf Boys” video project. “Not just in golf, but off the golf course, to be a light for Jesus.”

Perhaps the most powerful Christian impact Watson has experienced has been the PGA Tour’s weekly Bible Study, held every Wednesday night during tournament weeks.

Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Jonathan Byrd, Webb Simpson along with Watson are some of the regulars, with attendance ranging from 16 to 50 on a given week.

“For me it’s a way to get back connected with the Bible and with God and Jesus,” Watson said. “Now you know other people you can talk to, ask questions to, tell them what you’re thinking, tell them what’s going on in your life.”

The one-hour study is something Watson looks forward to regularly: “Getting more in the Word and realizing that golf is just an avenue for Jesus to use me to reach as many people as I can.”

Watson’s journey to Christ isn’t uncommon.

He grew up in Bagdad, Fla., as one of the good guys: “Didn’t cuss, didn’t cheat, didn’t steal, didn’t lie, didn’t drink, didn’t do drugs,” he said. “I was doing the right things but I didn’t know what that meant.”

It wasn’t until his senior year in high school when two twin neighbor girls, from the house directly behind his, invited Watson to their youth group. He went and found a place where he belonged.

“The girls asked me to go to church,” he said. “And after a few times going I realized this is what I wanted to do. This is truth here. And I gave myself to the Lord.”

But with all the pressures of college golf, especially on the weekends, it wasn’t until 2004 that Watson became serious about his commitment to Christ at the University of Georgia. He began dating Angie Ball (former WNBA player) and the two began living for God as a couple.

“We wanted to be Christ followers,” Watson said. “We wanted to do the right thing. We started turning to the Lord for our decisions.”

The couple married in September 2004 and were both baptized later that year, the day after Christmas: “I would say 2004 was my true time of becoming a Christian,” Watson said, “and shaping me into the man I am today.”

And just this week, Bubba the Man has become Bubba the Father. The Watsons began another chapter of their life, adopting a 1-month-old boy (Caleb), a journey that began several years ago.

Fittingly, Watson broke the news on Twitter: “Everyone @angieb1433 & I are proud new parents of a 1 month old baby boy name Caleb. Been a parent for 2 days. #amazing.”

Used with permission from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: christian; masters; watson
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1 posted on 04/08/2012 7:54:49 PM PDT by doug from upland
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To: All

Masters winner Bubba Watson to host fundraising concert with Christian rappers

2 posted on 04/08/2012 7:59:54 PM PDT by doug from upland (Just in case, it has been reserved:
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To: doug from upland

Congratulations to another God-guy for his outstanding win at the Masters today and for following where Jesus leads his life. It’s a wonderful blessing to learn how to live because one knows how to die.

3 posted on 04/08/2012 8:02:54 PM PDT by txrefugee
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To: doug from upland

Stunning win. His second shot on the second playoff hole was nothing short of breathtaking. Kudos to Oosthuizen on his double-eagle. Golf can be so compelling at this level.

4 posted on 04/08/2012 8:10:33 PM PDT by fhayek
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To: doug from upland

Don’t you know the secular elites are turning themselves inside out about a guy named “Bubba” winning the Masters? What the hell’s the matter with these athletes from Florida?

5 posted on 04/08/2012 8:17:31 PM PDT by izzatzo (Just beat Obama.)
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To: doug from upland

I am so glad a man like this won The Masters and my prayer is that he can reach the soul of Tiger Woods....Tiger seems to be drowning and the only lifeline that can save him is a relationship with Christ......

6 posted on 04/08/2012 8:24:37 PM PDT by Kimmers (Pray more and shoot straight.........)
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To: doug from upland

Oh - he’s a Christian!?!?

I guess the media will start the drumbeat that he’s not really a great golfer and that he just got lucky...

7 posted on 04/08/2012 8:28:59 PM PDT by zwerni (this isn't gonna be good for business)
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To: fhayek

That shot out of the pine straw was just unbelievable! His success on the links is an example of what can happen when one lets go and let’s God.

8 posted on 04/08/2012 8:41:56 PM PDT by reegs
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To: doug from upland

He will be a great father.

9 posted on 04/08/2012 9:05:46 PM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: fhayek
That second shot in the playoff, I couldn't believe what I saw, fantastic. That is the shot that won it for him.

What a nice guy, my hubby said, watch he's going to cry as he is emotional. This article explains why. So glad it was an American that won.

10 posted on 04/08/2012 9:36:22 PM PDT by annieokie
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To: doug from upland

A fantastic win. I still thought Phil was going to pull it out even after a triple bogey.

And when Bubba was missing close putts I thought oh no. And then that tee shot on 10 in sudden death and I figured he was done.

His second shot was amazing, especially after Oosthuizen muffed his and missed the green.

11 posted on 04/08/2012 9:41:28 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Democrats are dangerous and evil. Republicans are just useless.)
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To: All

Tim Tebow - football
Jeremy Lin - basketball
Bubba Watson - golf
Albert Pujols - basball

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, who was given an award at the rally for his off-field charitable work, said he thought its purpose was to show that Americans give back, something the Dominican Republic-born star does through organizations he’s founded.

“God’s given me some amazing talent, but I also think that it’s my responsibility to give back to the community of St. Louis as well as to the Dominican Republic,” Pujols said before Saturday’s game.

“I know a lot of people were thinking it was going to be a political thing or something like that. What I heard was ... everybody praising God for the amazing things done in their life, family and the soldiers,” Pujols said.

Complaints had been made about Beck’s holding the rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of King’s speech. Rev. Al Sharpton organized a counter-rally on the same day to commemorate the speech.

Read more:

12 posted on 04/08/2012 9:51:39 PM PDT by doug from upland (Just in case, it has been reserved:
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To: All


(sure hope Josh Hamilton can overcome his demons)

13 posted on 04/08/2012 9:53:19 PM PDT by doug from upland (Just in case, it has been reserved:
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To: doug from upland

What a three days at the Masters!

So many good golfers edging up all the time on the leaderboard.

Oosthuizen played his heart out and nearly won it, Mickelson did fantastic but the triple bogie killed him. Hanson, Kuchar and Westwood always hovering close behind.

Bubba won and it was no lucky break. He played like the champion he is.

Real golf history!

The Americans take it!!!

14 posted on 04/08/2012 10:05:04 PM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: Beowulf9
Mickelson had two tripple boggies in the tournament. If he had only boggied these holes he would be wearing his fourth green jacket. Thrilling tournament.
15 posted on 04/08/2012 10:31:52 PM PDT by fhayek
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To: fhayek

Ditto on that second shot. The announcers were shoveling dirt on top of Master’s coffin just before he hit it out of the trees and onto the green. He then coolly two putted and won the Masters. At the jacket presentation he was asked his reaction to the win and answered he had no words to describe it as he had not before dreamed this big & had no prepared thoughts.

16 posted on 04/08/2012 10:46:24 PM PDT by RicocheT (Eat the rich only if you're certain it's your last meal)
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To: doug from upland

Thanks! Good news is much better than bad news!

17 posted on 04/09/2012 12:52:19 AM PDT by LetMarch (If a man knows the right way to live, and does not live it, there is no greater coward. (Anonymous)
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To: doug from upland

Thank you for a great article!

We must all give thanks for any young man or woman that can take a public stand for the person and message of our Saviour!

“Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 150:6)

18 posted on 04/09/2012 12:56:25 AM PDT by LetMarch (If a man knows the right way to live, and does not live it, there is no greater coward. (Anonymous)
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To: Kimmers

That would indeed be a wondrous thing.

Definitely worth a prayer for that.

19 posted on 04/09/2012 3:37:58 AM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: reegs
His an example of what can happen when one lets go and let’s God take control....

He would be amazed how his life...and...his actions inspire...Although not a golfer...and not nearly as successful...I can relate to his life's story...

I am facing a cross roads in my life....letting go a giving God control has been very difficult....but I know I need too...for so many reasons...

Thanks Bubba...God's working through you in more ways than you may ever know...
20 posted on 04/09/2012 4:23:30 AM PDT by PigRigger (Donate to - The Troops have our front covered, let's guard their backs!)
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