Welcome back into Devil Ball Golf's 18-part preview of 2015 golf, which kicks up on the PGA Tour on Friday with the start of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. We rejoin our countdown preview of the world's top 10 with world No. 5 Bubba Watson.
Bubba Watson is really hard to predict. Sometimes he's brilliant, others completely withdrawn. Sometime he's fun-loving, other times a total Debbie Downer. Sometimes he wants to share, but struggles with fame.
When Watson is in the zone inside the ropes, however, there's no one that can combine length, imagination and touch like him. That's why he's the defending Masters champion, winner of two of the last three green jackets and No. 4 in the 2014-ending Official World Golf Ranking.
On top of winning a second Masters title, Watson won the Northern Trust Open at Riviera in February, backing up a runner-up finish at Phoenix. He also won the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in a sudden-death playoff. It was a good year for Watson, albeit another lopsided one. Watson plays his best golf from November through May. The rest of the year is pretty much a wash, save for a runner-up finish at the BMW Championship in September.
While it seems pretty clear Watson is built for the first half of the year -- kind of like Phil Mickelson in that regard -- it's also obvious the man from Bagdad, Fla., is as streaky of a player as there is in golf. Watson rides momentum better than maybe any player in the sport. If something sparks or inspires Watson -- which could include the adoption of a second child with his wife Angie, which the couple recently announced -- then he can turn that spark into brilliant golf. If only Watson could play motivated golf more often, he'd be the No. 1 player in the world. Seriously.
What happens too often is Watson gets sidetracked. He gets miffed at the small things, the things that don't matter to his personal and professional success. Watson is his own worst enemy. Were Ted Scott not on Watson's bag as a confidant, sounding board and sometimes punching bag, Watson may never have fulfilled his potential -- a potential that still feels somewhat undeveloped.
At 36 years old, Watson isn't likely to evolve. He is who he is. That means occasional mind-boggling brilliance. It also means disappointment.
Read all of the Devil Ball Golf 18 for '15: