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PGA Tour misses Bubba Watson

Where's Bubba?

Where's that pink driver and those sonic tee shots and those artistic fades and draws? Where's that homemade swing that ends in kind of a toe dance?

Where's Bubba Watson?

He's missing the Crowne Plaza Invitational At Colonial in Fort Worth this week, marking the sixth week in the last seven he has bypassed a PGA Tour event since winning the Masters.

After that spectacular victory that had America shaking its head and smiling at the daring and the imagination he had laid out there in that playoff, after being all over national TV and radio talk shows and more magazine covers than Oprah (well, maybe for one week), the new darling of golf went home.

And that's where he's been, dealing with a matter of the heart, being daddy to the son he and his wife adopted one week before the Masters.

He did play one event, in New Orleans, because he was the defending champion, then went back home to Florida. The adopted child can't leave Florida yet, which is one reason he and mom have not gone on the road with Bubba.

Watson will be back in action next week at Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament in Columbus, Ohio. Some of that rock star excitement, that Bubba Fever, he commanded soon after the Masters has no doubt calmed. But because of who and what he is and because he's accessorized it all with a green jacket, he'll still pull big galleries when he does play.

He has been missed. There's nobody out there more fun to watch. Tiger Woods is fascinating, Phil Mickelson is creative and lovable, Rory McIlroy and Ricky Fowler are remarkably gifted but Bubba's right there. He has packaged power, talent, personality and fearless, full throttle golf. He puts on a captivating show of shots flying high and low, shots bending left and right, shots addressed always to the bottom of the cup.

David Letterman asked him to describe his game and Watson said, "Awesome." Cute, and true.

Watson told Golf Digest, "I attack. I always attack. I don't like to go for the center of the greens. I want to hit the incredible shot; who doesn't? That's why we play the game of golf, to pull off the amazing shot."

He hit one of the most amazing, of course, to win the Masters, that incredible hook shot off pine needles, under limbs and onto the green for the par that beat Louis Oosthuizen in a playoff. Describing it later, he said it was "pretty easy." For him, maybe.

Next week, the clubs come out again. More memories are waiting to be made.

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