- (Photo: Reuters/Phil Noble)
Bubba Watson, 33-year-old Christian professional golfer who won the 2012 Masters Tournament, was recently selected as the Hickok Belt Award winner for the month of April after earning the support of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA).
The award recognized Watson as "the best of the best" across all professional sports. The professional golfer is one of 12 athletes to be awarded this year, with Eli Manning, Jeremy Lin and Lindsey Vonn also on the list.
After his victory in the 2012 Masters, the NSSA recognized Watson for the way he defeated Louis Oosthuizen on the second hole of the tournament. The 33-year-old Christian golfer is currently ranked fourth in the world and has been vocal about his faith having a hand in his success.
Watson, a Florida native, admitted that he did not imagine accomplishing the feat and called doing so a blessing.
"I never got this far in my dreams, so it's not a dream come true," he said after winning his first Masters tournament this past Easter. "It's a blessing."
Other finalists for the April Hickok award were Matt Kemp (baseball), Kevin Durant (basketball), Claude Giroux (hockey), Josh Hamilton (baseball), Stephen Strasburg (baseball), Jonathan Quick (hockey), Greg Biffle (auto racing), Lee Westwood (golf) and Ai Miyazato (golf).
Watson now joins the ranks of renowned athletes like Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Jim Brown, who have all received the Hickok Belt in the past. Still, Watson has maintained that golf is not the most important thing in his life.
"Golf isn't everything for me," Watson said. "If I would have lost today, it wouldn't have been the end of the world."