BROWN DEER -- For a long time, the popularity of professional golf hinged on the incredible success of Tiger Woods. As the 36-year-old embattled superstar struggles to regain his form, there might be another star on the horizon.
Sunday, April 8th's Masters at the famed Augusta National Golf Club was a classic. From Louie Oosthizen's double eagle on the second hole, to Bubba Watson's signature shot to the green on the second playoff hole that propelled him to his first win in a grand slam event. The popular Bubba did nothing but endear himself to the golf world with his humility and emotion over wearing the coveted green jacket.
"I never got this far in my dreams. It's a blessing. To go home to my new son -- it's gonna be fun," Watson said.
In the midst of all of the Masters drama, there was no roar from the Tiger. Woods, expected to contend for his fifth green jacket, was never a factor, but it didn't seem to matter.
"It's tremendous. It's tremendous for golf to see that there are some players out there, and it's not just a one-person tour," Scott Evans said.
Evans is the head pro at Brown Deer Park Golf Course. He's one of a growing number of people who feel that the Pro Tour cannot only survive, but actually thrive, even if Woods doesn't take his place as the most prominent player in the world.
"Obviously if Tiger is there, that is going to add valuable things to any event. But can golf do without him? Absolutely," Evans said.
Especially if the 33-year-old Bubba catches fire. Keep in mind, the native Floridian never took a golf lesson, and his swing isn't out of Golf Digest. In fact, it's kind of like Happy Gilmore's!
"He's fun to watch. He just swings at it like a maniac, and I am glad he has not changed his golf swing since he got better and better throughout his career. He just plays his own game, and he believes in what he can do, and he moves the ball around a lot, which really made that shot in the playoffs, for him, pretty simple," Evans said.
As for Woods, the golf world continues to wait for his comeback. He's still four wins shy of tying Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 grand slam victories.
"As Jack said in an interview, he thought 'Tiger's got the ability to beat my record,' but he said 'stay tuned, life happens,'" Evans said.
Scott Evans told FOX6 Sports that Brown Deer Park will be commemorating Woods' pro golf debut on that course in 1996 with a plaque.