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PGA Tour Confidential: Mickelson vs. Els, plus Tiger's elbow and Bubba's head

Bubba Watson
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Bubba Watson in the final round of the Travelers Championship on Sunday. Watson has now held the lead/co-lead after 54 holes six times. The only one he converted for victory was the 2011 Zurich Classic.

3. We saw the Full Bubba at the Travelers Championship: massive drives, a first-round 63, but also a shaky finish Saturday and a triple bogey on the 16th hole Sunday as Ken Duke passed him to win in a playoff over Chris Stroud. Will Bubba win another major?

SHIPNUCK: For sure. Augusta National sets up perfectly for him, as does the Old Course. He'll pick off another one, at least. He'll also have plenty of blowup and missed cuts, but that's just part of the deal.

GODICH: Of course, he will. And it will come out of nowhere, when we least expect it -- just like his victory at the Masters.

LYNCH: He's another John Daly: streaky, unpredictable, capable of running away with a major, and liable to get in his own way when it matters more often than not.

PASSOV: As fidgety and wildly inconsistent as he gets, even when he's playing well, I still can't believe he won the Masters. Hey, even the best have dropped balls into the water at crunch time, but his overly emotional exchange with his caddie regarding the clubbing disasters at 16 Sunday made him appear more like a scared rookie than a major winner. He is an entertaining, mind-boggling shotmaker, but no more majors in the forecast for Bubba.

VAN SICKLE: Bubba is an enigma. He reminds me a little of Phil. I could see him winning another Masters, maybe. I don't see him winning either Open. He's fulfilled a lot of his own dreams -- he may be satisfied.

REITERMAN: It’s hard to say someone as talented as Bubba would never win a major again, especially at a place like Augusta, but after watching him scold his caddie at the Travelers -- the Travelers! -- you have to wonder if his head will ever be in the game long enough to handle the grind of the other three majors.

BAMBERGER: Bubba SHOULD win another major, but that and $5 gets you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. He needs the moon and the stars aligned perfectly to win, and sooner or later you have to think it will happen.

WEI: Not if he continues to flip out on his caddie and blame him for hitting bad shots/putts. That meltdown was pretty epic and nothing new. As you may recall, when Bubba won his first Tour event here in 2010, he thanked his caddie for sticking with him despite his temper tantrums.

GORANT: I said he'd never win the first one, so I should probably zip it. Plus, Augusta does set up well for him.

4. Exhausted as he must have been, Justin Rose kept his commitment and played the Travelers this week. He not only played, but he contended. Did his appearance in Hartford bump up your respect for Rose even more? Would you have forgiven him if he had withdrawn?

GODICH: I heard everything I needed to during Rose's gracious acceptance speech at Merion. Pure class. I'm not surprised in the least he honored that commitment.

REITERMAN: I wouldn’t have blamed him for withdrawing, but I’m glad he kept his word and played well. But Philly to Hartford is not exactly a tough trip to make.

SHIPNUCK: You can't withdraw in that situation. Ever. The blowback would be too intense -- better to just show up and sleepwalk through a missed cut, soaking up all the goodwill along the way. That Rose played so hard is a testament to his professionalism and his pride. There's nothing not to love about this golfing gentleman.

PASSOV: Any tournament after a major -- and Hartford is no exception -- is going to have challenges drawing the best fields. Rose played great until a fade at the end (and he wasn't the only one), which is a lot different that showing up to look good, then tanking with 78-77 and having the weekend free. I realize he's young, fit, and riding a strong wave of momentum, but I don't see how you can give 100 percent the week after what he did, and yet, there he was. I'm glad he didn't WD, but I would have forgiven. Good on ya, Justin!

LYNCH: He was playing golf, not working a 70-hour week in a coal mine. Rose's conduct has always been admirable, but lets not assume a 32-year-old multimillionaire is so physically and emotionally shattered as to need a rest after a good week in the office.

BAMBERGER: I just think Rose is a well-mannered, grounded man, with a grind-it-out personality. He ain't no Bubba. Would I forgive him had not played? He doesn't owe me a thing. He can do what he wants. They all can, and do.

WEI: Yes, I would have completely forgiven him had he withdrawn. I'm still exhausted from Merion and barely showed up to cover the Travelers myself! And I didn't even have to play either course! Webb Simpson also deserves credit for honoring his commitment last year after he won at Olympic and that was on the other side of the country. So did Lucas Glover after winning the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage. We would have given them all a pass had their "plans changed."

GORANT: Nah, he's a professional who went and played golf. No heroism there, although I wouldn't have blamed him if he ditched either.

VAN SICKLE: Justin Rose has always been a good guy. I'm not surprised he did the right thing. Why wouldn't you play at a course where you've had success? Give him a tip of the visor.


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