Bubba Watson and his caddie, Ted Scott, sure do have a strange relationship. We all joke on Twitter about Bubba's whining to Scott and then it wasn't so funny at the Travelers Championship last season.
Alan Shipnuck of Sports Illustrated did a great profile of Watson and his return to his hometown in Florida recently and in it he told this story about the Houston Open.
The 15th event that Scott worked for Watson was the 2007 Houston Open. Bubba went on a birdie binge on Saturday and held the lead on the 14th tee, a par-3 that was playing 198 yards to the hole, 204 to the back edge. Back then Watson hit a stock 7-iron about 195 yards, so factoring in the adrenaline of the situation, Scott suggested taking one less club. "You can't hit an 8 over the green," he said. Watson gave him a funny look but accepted the advice.
"Right at impact," Scott recalls, 'I mean before he's even in his follow-through, Bubba says to me, 'Don't ever tell me I can't hit an 8-iron 204 yards.'" Sure enough, his ball landed on the back of the green and hopped into the rough. At that moment winning his first PGA Tour event was a trifling concern; proving a point to his caddie was all that mattered. Scott's internal reaction? "Wow. Double wow." He had two questions: "How do you do that? I mean, who can hit an 8-iron 205 yards? And secondly, why would you do that [on purpose]?" These questions have defined their complicated relationship ever since.
I'm not an expert but that is pretty strange behavior for a professional athlete, no? To purposely hit a ball too far just to prove a point to your caddie in the middle of a round of a tournament you're trying to win. That's just...weird.
You should go read the rest of Shipnuck's excellent profile, by the way. Very enjoyable.