Caddie of the Week: Bubba Watson’s loyal wingman, Ted Scott

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Bubba Watson and Ted Scott have had a fairly tumultuous relationship with the Travelers Championship.

The Travelers Championship was the site of the pair’s first PGA Tour victory in 2010, and Sunday marked their third win at the event. He’s shot eight rounds of 65 or lower and just one over 75. Of the pair’s 10 non-major PGA Tour wins, their Travelers victories account for 30 percent of them.

But despite all the highs, Bubba and Ted’s defining moment at the event came in 2013, when Watson drowned his chances of winning the tournament on Sunday after hitting his tee shot on the par-3 16th into the water. It led to a triple-bogey, but it wasn’t the shot itself that evoked surprise. It was his reaction after it.

With television cameras following him during the heat of coverage, Watson berated his caddie, seemingly blaming him for the shot,

“Water. It’s in the water. That club.” he said. “That’s the right yardage?”

Ted Scott selflessly took the fall for his guy after the round, and Bubba himself later apologized for the outburst. The hatchet has been long buried — the two even joked about it during a Pro-Am — but it wasn’t until this Sunday that chapter finally felt closed, once and for all.

Bubba and Ted looked flawless during the final round. His seven-under 63 was the second-best round of the day. He made just one bogey, and his round culminated into a wedge into the 18th that Scott told Bubba “that’s the best shot you’ve ever hit.”

When Bubba is playing at his best — like on Sunday — he looks simply unstoppable. It’s a breathtaking marriage of power, creativity, and touch that transforms Watson into an artist, and golf into a different sport altogether.

But for all his artistry when the going is good, Watson is often temperamental when things are bad. His downturns in form aren’t dips as much as they are plunges. They lead to the kind of outbursts we saw in 2013, and it’s why Bubba can seem to go missing from leaderboards for months at a time.

Ted Scott has been there through it all. He’s helped manage Bubba’s on-course evolution from young hopeful, to major champion, to father, to assured superstar. It’s a progression that Bubba says is the key driver of his recent success, and it’s something he spoke about after his victory.

“Our joke as a team is I’ve changed more than anybody in the world from when I got on TOUR to now,” he said. “We’re going to make mistakes. I’m going to three-putt, I’m going to duff chips. I’m going to do a lot of things on the golf course bad and off the golf course bad and I’m going to have to apologize…It’s just growing up.”

There may be no more challenging player to caddie for than Bubba Watson, and probably nobody else up to the task better than Ted Scott.

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