The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Sports

April 11, 2012

A Link With History

2012 Masters' champion Bubba Watson played at Tillery Tradition

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 — As he hooked a shot out of the pine straw on the second playoff hole of the 2012 Masters golf tournament, green jacket winner Bubba Watson had one local fan rooting for him after meeting him.

The encounter came at The Tillery Tradition Golf Course in Mount Gilead, where Jimmy Barbee, who works in the pro shop, met Watson and a group of his friends after enjoying a round of golf.

On June 19, 2010, Watson shot a round of 63 at the Tillery Tradition, one shy of the club record set by Pfeiffer University golfer Matt Whelband on July 28, 2004.

“Bubba was a fine boy,” Barbee said.

“He said that he enjoyed playing the course.”

Just eight days after playing his round at the Tillery Tradition, Watson won his first PGA Tour title, the Travelers Championship.

“He was due to win; it was just a matter of time,” Barbee said.

One of the players in Watson’s group was the brother of former PGA Tour player Chip Beck.

Chip’s brother, Joe Beck, told Barbee that he had a touring professional in the truck with him who wanted to play the course.

Watson and his group later ate lunch at The Eagle’s Nest, the restaurant at The Tillery Tradition.

Restaurant owner Jody Roberson was on hand when Watson ate there, recalling, “He was a great guy, very down to earth.”

A scorecard with Watson’s autograph now sits in Barbee’s home. The original scorecard filled out in Watson’s own handwriting is still kept in the pro shop.

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