Before Masters champ, Bubba was champ in Albany - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Before Masters champ, Bubba was champ in Albany

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AUGUSTA, GA (WALB) -

It was over ten years ago, a young, fresh out of college, fairly anonymous golfer won a mini-tour event at Albany's River Pointe Country Club.

That man was Bubba Watson.

Though he certainly didn't win a green jacket for his victory, it may have been a stepping stone to a career that includes the 2012 Masters title.

Watson now walks the course with throngs of patrons in tow. But in 2002, when he won the River Pointe tournament, even Bubba says he couldn't imagine the superstardom he today enjoys.

"If anybody goes into a sport or a career going, I'm going to get a lot of fame from this or popularity into this, then obviously they are probably not going to be as good as they can be," he says.

The fame for the former Georgia Bulldog has come almost instantly after his miraculous shot from the trees on the 10th hole in last year's playoff that earned him his first ever Major title.

"Five years ago, I'd never won a golf tournament," Watson says. "Sitting here, I've won four, and one of them just happens to be the Masters."

Now, one of the biggest fan favorites at Augusta and the reigning Masters champ, he keeps himself grounded- much like an anonymous golfer just trying to make his way onto the Tour.

"The way I see it, I've been blessed to do what I do for a living," he says. "I enjoy it. Now I'm blessed to have a green jacket."

When Watson tees off Thursday, he does so hoping to become only the 4th man to repeat as Masters champ.

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