Bubba Watson: ‘I feared death’ – Two-time Masters champion shares mental health issues

In 2017, a stomach problem had meant that he had lost a lot of weight and golf was not doing so well, leaving him to consider retiring from the sport he loves. On top of that, his spirit was taking him “to a rabbit hole”.

He remembers being afraid that he was not good enough and that he would not be appreciated. These were the struggles he was going through, Watson “feared for” his life, described his feelings to CNN’s Patrick Snell as “the darkest darkness at that time.”

“When I looked at myself in a mirror at that point, when I was only 162 pounds, all I saw was a thin Bubba, a guy losing weight, a guy who was not going to get there, ”explained the two-time Masters winner.

“And so when you think of that moment, those were the darkest hours, and when I think of my tears at that point, when I think of what I asked the Lord and then it echoed in my head and it was like a wake-call.

“It was like a bell would ring and say, ‘Wait, if you have 10 minutes left, is that how you’re going to waste your 10 minutes?’ And I was like, ‘No.’ “

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“Faith was the key”

Realizing he didn’t want his life to end, Watson says his faith and his wife have helped him return to a better place psychologically.

Watson has been married to his wife Angie for 17 years and they have two adopted children together. A former professional basketball player, Angie provided the support he needed in his deepest moments.

“Being able to be a man and talk to him and tell him my deepest, darkest secrets and let him know what I was going through and let him know I was scared… that’s a hard thing to do”, the 43rd – years old remembers.

“I mean, talk to my wife and be supposed to be the man of the house … but then, thinking of my knees on the floor, when I hit the ground and asked the Lord to take me, I thought, ‘Wait, if it’s the last 10 minutes of my life, it’s the last 30 minutes, the last day, the last two weeks, whatever it is, I have to be better. I have to be better for her and better. for my children. ‘

Watson waits with his wife Angie and their son Caleb on the 18th green after winning the 2014 Masters.

“Once I expressed it and heard it in my head, that’s what made me get off the ground and say, ‘You know what? It’s not what I want my life to be. This is not what I want my legacy to be is this moment, and so I have to go out there and be the man I have to be. ‘”

Watson was in such a hole in 2017 that he was ready to give up golf, the sport which was “dear and dear” to him and which had brought him so much success.

However, Angie convinced him to stick with it as she understood that this would be something her husband could help her return to normalcy.

Watson has had a successful golf career. With his Masters titles in 2012 and 2014, he claimed 12 PGA Tour victories and represented the United States at the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup and the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The Florida native will return to the PNC Championship in Orlando in December with his son Caleb. Having played alongside his stepfather last year, Watson expressed his enthusiasm for entering the tournament which “attracts major champions whose victories this year span from 1959 to 2021”.

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Watson plays his shot from the fifth tee during the second round of the SBS Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Golf Club on January 6, 2017.

However, when it comes to his legacy, Watson hopes it has nothing to do with what he has done on the course.

“I want him to be defined as a good man who tried harder every day,” he said. “And I don’t want that to say anything about golf because I want my kids to know me as their dad.

“I want them to know that my heritage is something else. Golf has provided it, but I don’t want them to say, ‘Two-time Masters champion. “If this is the first thing they say out of their mouth, then I missed the mark as a parent and I missed the mark as a husband too.”

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