Welcome to the Monday Scramble, a bit groggy from staying up all night catching up on long-driving PGA Tour player Bubba Watson’s library of homemade internet videos that he posts regularly on Twitter – which, if you didn’t know, has officially become more popular on the Tour and on golf news Web sites than the actual sport of golf.
In any case, here’s what we’ve learned about your current Bob Hope Classic co-leader Watson, who used to wear flourescent pink knee-high socks in junior golf tournaments and as you probably know features a similarly-colored shaft in his driver:
• At this moment, it is unclear whether Watson would rather walk home this evening with the Hope winner’s trophy or an invitation to appear on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” a daytime talk show with a live audience usually made up of dancing 65-year-old grandmothers that are also quite fond of the color pink.
But we’d probably throw a few bucks on the latter considering the following video clips, which show Watson serenading talk-show host/new “American Idol” judge DeGeneres with the “Happy Birthday” song and performing for her a trick shot, over a pool and into a bucket, during a weather delay from his rental house at the Hope.
Of course, a couple questions come to mind:
1.) How many takes were needed to film the trick shot?
2.) Why does Watson do this? “Because I’m not right in my head,” he joked this weekend to a room full of reporters.
“Great golfer. Strange fellow,” Lawrence Donagan, golf writer for The Guardian, wrote in a blog this weekend.
A comment on that same blog featured these words: “The guy is fast achieving ‘web legend’ status” – though with more than 1.2 million less Twitter followers than Stewart Cink (Watson has just over 8,000), he’s certainly got a ways to go.
But Ellen could probably help.
“It’s just, it’s fun for me,” Watson said. “It’s something for me to do. It’s hard to talk to fans at a golf tournament because I’m trying to grind it, I’m trying to hit balls, trying to prepare myself.
“So for Twitter, it’s easy to do a 30-second, minute video, and why not get on Ellen’s show and have fun?”
Really, is there a better life mantra?
• Despite a continuous stream of awkward moments, Watson actually keeps things funny and interesting, which is the reason for our bloodshot eyes this morning.
He’s no Jerry Seinfeld, to be sure (even though his real first name is “Gerry”), but he’s no Kathie Lee Gifford, either – at least when he’s not singing.
He’s taped everything from 221-foot putts in hotel hallways to 10-foot putts on private jets, Q&A’s with real-life Twitter fans to “Dora the Explorer” spoofs.
A couple funny ones were taped a couple weeks ago at Kapalua, where Watson took whacks at several fruits and vegetables – a red bell pepper, eggplant and pineapple to name a few – with an old persimmon wood that he affectionately refers to as the Ol’ Wooden Stick, a recurring character in his videos.
Here’s “Ol’ Wooden Stick vs. Pineapple”:
Breakfast ball, anyone?
But our favorite might be Watson’ latest, which is taken straight out of that scene in “Tin Cup” where Roy McEvoy hits a ball from inside the clubhouse bar and knocks a pelican off a wooden post:
Looks like he caught a flier!
• On a somewhat serious note, Watson, who has admitted to taking his golf a bit too seriously the last few years, might be on to a new form of Twitter Therapy.
“I’m trying to keep my attitude just having fun out here,” he said this weekend. (You might recall his spat with Steve Elkington at the 2008 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he was caught cursing on camera.)
“For the last few years, I get down, and I get down on myself. I’m just trying to change the way I think about it and move on.
“So far it’s working, so far this year.”
Today’s final round at the Hope could offer even more proof, not to mention a call from Ellen.