Jeff Knox vs. Bubba Watson: A five-hole photoessay

Jeff Knox vs. Bubba Watson: A photoessay


While all you suckers were twiddling your thumbs (going do-do-do-do, do-do-do-dodododo) waiting for Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy the 2:50 p.m. Saturday tee time at the 2016 Masters, I watched the pairing of the day entertain the patrons at Augusta National.

Jeff Knox...and Bubba Watson...put on a show.

Of course, since Knox isn't actually in the Masters and Watson isn't in the Masters, they didn't get in the Masters Featured Groups channel. However, when Amen Corner coverage went on a noon Eastern, it was Jeff Knox Time. We chronicle Jeff Knox's Saturday five-hole run on the Masters channels.


It all opened from the fairway at the par-4 11th, the hardest hole on the course. Both Knox and Watson found the fairway at the 505-yard hole, with Watson outdriving Knox by some 25 yards.



That didn't matter to Knox though, who hit his fairway wood with a big draw to catch a slope in front of the green, eventually stopping on the left fringe. What'd Bubba do? Miss way right. Advantage: Knox.

In the end, Watson made a nice up-and-down, but Knox courageously two-putted up the slope for a tying par.



It was on to the 12th, the treacherous par 3 with a hole location precariously over the front bunker. Watson, going first, found the back bunker. Knox, perhaps with a false read from Watson's shot, mishit and misjudged the wind, finding Rae's Creek.

Watson had to play it out and bogeyed the 12th for the third day in a row. Knox, not wanting to show up Bubba, took his no-handicap mandated double-bogey 5. Watson was up 1.

On the par-5 13th, we didn't see Knox play a shot on the hole -- that is, until he drained a 40-footer for birdie.


And do you know how big of a deal Jeff Knox is? His caddie picked the ball out of the hole for him while the opposition caddie, Ted Scott, gave him a fist bump. Hopefully Bubba didn't see that. Perhaps infuriated that he did, Watson matched Knox's birdie.

We have no idea what happened on the 14th since the Masters doesn't show that in its digital coverage. We know Watson made par. We can only assume Knox made eagle.


Then it was to the par-5 15th, a hole playing into such a strong wind that there will be very few, if any players on Saturday who go for the green in two. Watson, missing the fairway, laid up. Knox, hitting the fairway, laid up farther down the fairway. Both put their third shots to about 7 feet.



Knox's putt cruelly lipped out for birdie. Watson's was center cut.


Knox stared at his ball in disbelief as he walked to the par-3 16th, the final hole of our journey with this titan.


Knowing the cameras wouldn't follow him to the final two holes, Knox decided to give the online patrons one more memory. He appeared to intentionally miss the putting surface, to the right of the front bunker, so he could show everyone his magnificent short game.


Chip shot over a bunker to a tight pin? Psssh. Hit it 2 feet. Gimme. Watson made par, too.


So, if we count the strokes we saw, Bubba Watson won this stretch by 2 strokes. If what we believe happened on 14 did, then it was even.

What a show. What a privilege.

We know Bubba Watson shot 4-over 76 on Saturday. As for Knox? Well, we'll soon find out when his scorecard is mounted at Berckmans Place. However, Watson's caddie Ted Scott estimated in a now-deleted tweet that Knox shot 80 "if you gave him a 5-foot slider on 3 and a double on 12."

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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