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DOUG FORD: Gotta love a Bubba

You just have to love Bubba, Bubba Watson that is, the golfer who won the Masters on Sunday.

Not many professional golfers can claim that moniker, usually associated with blue collar working folks, particularly in the south.

Watson, a man with a strong swing but somewhat soft heart, displayed pent-up emotion following his win, grabbing his young son after the final tap-in and then his wife, the three of them engaging in a group hug that brought tears to Watson’s eyes.

The tour’s longest hitter now owns two green jackets in three years, and the unpretentious duffer is easy to pull for.

It’s easy to be a “Bubba” when your full name is Gerry Lester Watson Jr.

Watson was reportedly nicknamed by his father after the former professional football player and actor in the Police Academy movies, Bubba Smith.

He has an interesting background, marrying a 6-4 former basketball player he met while playing for the golf team at the University of Georgia, Angela P. Ball.

By the way, their little boy is adopted, and his name is Caleb.

Most everyone knows a “Bubba,” a name derived from brother and given primarily to boys, especially the oldest boy in the family.

The name also is used in Europe, but it’s also associated with the United States, particularly with the South, where the name sometimes is used to refer to a “good ol’ boy.”

Reportedly, in the Armed Forces bubba can mean a soldier, but in a positive way, rather than negative as some media seem to think.

I’ve met a few bubbas in my life, including my old boss from my construction days in Richmond, Bubba Rakes.

Bubba was just that, a friend and a mentor and not just a boss, who encouraged you to work hard, but he always had a smile or joke handy to help get the job done.

Bubba Watson also is a southerner, from Bagdad, Florida, and he doesn’t seem like one to flaunt his fame or name. 

Just call him good, ole’ bubba.