Cultural Icons and Georgia Bulldogs: 4th Ranked Golfer in the World Bubba Watson and 9th Ranked Tennis Player in the World John Isner
By Cheri Leavy
Hugh Acheson of southern foodie acclaim, with restaurants in Athens and Atlanta as well as stints as Top Chef Masters’ competitor and judge, said it best on twitter, “Between Bubba Watson and John Isner, it’s pretty cool to see some UGA Dawgs really shine in sports other than pigskin.”
Hugh is absolutely right as it truly is so rewarding to see Bubba and Isner’s success on international platforms in golf and tennis, respectively. But fans can also be so proud of what good guys they are in addition to their awesome athleticism.
They represent the Bulldogs so well on the courses and courts all over the world with both on air thanking their fans from the Bulldog nation and often wearing UGA ball caps and memorabilia. And to top it all off, they both come back to Athens and support the University of Georgia regularly. Isner has held the John Isner Tennis Camp at the UGA Dan Magill Tennis Complex. He has participated in fundraisers there as well. Bubba served as an honorary chair of last year’s Stadion Classic at UGA and participated in numerous events including the Pro-Am. And after winning a bet, Bubba coached a recent Lady Dawg’s basketball game alongside his wife Angie’s former coach Andy Landers. Here is a link to an article Jeff Dantzler wrote for Bulldawg Illustrated about these two American Bulldog sports icons.
The Monday after the Masters win, I was emailing with the president of the Charleston Low Country Dawgs club, Tom Harris, and he said there wasn’t a dry eye in his house. I bet it was that way all over the Bulldog nation. I know I was in tears when Bubba hugged his momma. Bubba is just such an easy person to root for as he isn’t perfect as we have seen his temper flare in the past but he makes no excuses and looks to his faith in God to help him be a better man on and off the course which I believe has led to his new Bubba Golf. Those of us in the Twittersphere get to follow @bubbawatson’s frequent inspiring Bible verses and hilarious banter back and forth with fans. We understand his priorities as declared straight from his twitter profile: Christian. Husband. Daddy. Pro Golfer. Owner of General Lee 1. BubbaGolf is #awesome.
Bubba is a lesson in style from his frat boy fluffy haircut down to his hot pink shafted driver. Another lesson we can take from Bubba is to help a charity. “To match my ambition on the course, I have decided to set an ambitious goal off the course this year and will try to raise one million dollars for charity,” stated Watson. “Helping these charities and more importantly, the families involved, can be more rewarding than winning a golf tournament.”
Isner became the top tennis player in America the day before Bubba won the Masters. He made the finals that Saturday of the US Clay Court Championships in Houston but lost the final to Juan Monaco. Isner is another athlete that has brought me to tears with his resolve and spirit. I am confident in my memory that I cried the day of Isner’s 70-68 Wimbledon victory in the fifth set over Frenchman Nicolas Mahu. The longest tennis match in history that lasted for 11 hours and 5 minutes … need I say more?
Isner has stated that he is dedicating his personal and professional life to the cause of Ovarian Cancer which his mother battled. He has championed numerous fundraisers including a tennis exhibition in Raleigh to benefit Duke Hospital’s Ovarian Cancer Research and the Crown BMW Charity Challenge where UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center was his designated charity recipient.
It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog right now basking in the glory of these UGA grad’s inspiring good works!
Join the fun and follow us all on twitter: The Southern Coterie at @thesouthernc, Bulldawg Illustrated at @bd_illustrated, Bubba at @bubbawatson, Isner at @JohnIsner and Hugh at @hughacheson.