Bubba Watson's father succumbs to throat cancer

The news came with a simple Twitter message from Bubba Watson: "Everyone it's a sad day for my family!! My Dad has Passed."

Watson's father Gerry died Thursday, a victim of throat cancer. The former Green Beret guided Watson in his golf dreams, and lived long enough to see his son win his first tour event, reach a playoff in a major, and play in the Ryder Cup.

"My dad taught me everything I know. It’s not very much, but that’s all I know. He would agree with that," Watson said at the PGA Championship, the tournament he would lose to Martin Kaymer in a playoff. "I’ve never had a [golf] lesson. My dad, he took me to the golf course when I was 6 and just told me he was going to be in the woods looking for his ball, so he just told me to take this 9-iron and beat it down the fairway. And now look at me ... beating a 9-iron on the fairway, coming from Bagdad [Florida]. I never dreamed this."

Over the last few months, knowing his father had little time left, Watson cried often over the impending loss. But he's put forth a brave face since his father's passing, saying on Twitter, "Thanks everyone for your thoughts & prayers. It's a tough process but we know my DAD is in a better place!!" (He's also thanked many of his supporters directly even in his time of loss, further showing why he's one of the most fan-friendly golfers out there.)

Watson is likely to become one of the PGA's new stars in the years ahead. It's a shame that his father won't be around to see it, but he saw enough to know what kind of a son he'd raised. Our condolences to Bubba Watson and his family.