Bubba Watson’s surprise announcement last week that he had purchased Tiger Woods’ former digs in Orlando had the golf world abuzz last week — before all eyes turned toward Woods’ dismantling of TPC Blue Monster at Doral.
Watson, the reigning Masters champion, said that he had purchased the Windermere, Fla., house and would soon move his wife Angie and son Caleb onto the property that gained notoriety after Woods’ infamous 2009 Thanksgiving night car accident and ensuing sex scandal.
“It’s true,” Watson told Golf.com after carding a second-round 3-under 69 in the WGC-Cadillac Championship (he ended up T18 — 12 shots back of Woods’ winning 19-under score). “We closed last summer and we’re moving in next Thursday or Friday.”
While it’s always intriguing to learn how the other half lives behind the gates of a community like Isleworth, Bubba was not the first golf superstar to move into another’s discarded crib.
Yani Tseng took over Annika Sorenstam’s old homestead in Orlando back in 2009 and soon after assumed the World Golf Hall of Famer’s mantle of leadership as the best player in women’s golf.
“It felt like that was my home,” Tseng told the Boston Globe last year. “My mom was a little worried that it would put too much pressure on me to buy this house, but I told myself I have confidence. In the future, everything will pay off. I work hard, and I knew this was the house I want. It gave me the motivation to play better.”
Tseng remains an unabashed admirer of Sorenstam, whom she considers her mentor. Watson, no doubt, would enjoy stocking his trophy cabinets with as much hardware as Woods amassed during his time at Isleworth.
But the four-time PGA Tour winner did not share the same sentiment about the hallowed grounds he’ll back the U-Haul up to as Tseng did when she preserved her shrine to all-things Annika.
“We ended up changing everything,” Bubba said about the renovations he and Angie made to the cottage Woods resided in before building a McMansion in Jupiter, Fla. “We probably saved maybe five percent of it. We built it all around Caleb. There are like three playrooms.”
Tseng, by the way, hopes to defend her RR Donnelly Founders Cup title this week at Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix, Ariz. Without a win since last March at the Kia Classic, Tseng will have to conquer a robust LPGA Tour field that will feature eight of the top 10 players in the world if she’s to repeat last year’s heroics.
The world No. 1 captured her 14th tour victory when she held off Ai Miyazato and Na Yeon Choi to win the the 2012 Founders Cup by one stroke.