I liked Bubba Watson before I knew much of anything about him. Don't even know why. That's the way it is in these individual sports. You watch and jump to some kind of conclusion positive or negative or, worst of all, neutral about a competitor off bits and pieces of information.
Maybe I liked the fact that Watson has no swing coach, let alone a personal army of them at his side. Maybe it was his seemingly easy manner on the course. Maybe it was his shot making. Maybe it was that he bought and now owns the original General Lee, the Dodge from the old TV show "Dukes of Hazzard." Maybe I just enjoyed the way he played golf and, when it comes down to it, how can anybody not like a golfer named Bubba?
But after seeing Watson become the Masters champion on Sunday, making three straight birdies on the back nine, coming back from a five-stroke final-round deficit, surviving a playoff in which he hit that already infamous shot out of the deep woods, off the pine straw, hooking the ball 40 yards to his right and straight onto the green, I like the man even more.