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Bubba Watson Back In Top Form At Waste Management Phoenix Open

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Bubba Watson‘s legions of fans sometimes are referred to as “Bubba’s Army”. The vocal crowds that follow the 2012 Masters champion certainly must be pleased with what they’ve seen so far this week.

That’s because, as the sun set on Scottsdale, Ariz. on Friday evening, Watson was at the top of the leaderboard at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. His five-under-par round of 66 has him tied with Matt Jones at -12 for the tournament, and things are looking great for one of the most popular players on the PGA Tour.

On the course, Watson is known as a bomber with a homegrown swing and the trademark pink driver. What’s gotten him into position thus far at TPC Scottsdale is actually his short game. After missing just one green in regulation on Thursday, Watson only hit 12 on Friday. However, he still found a way to make only two bogeys all day, mainly due to a white-hot putter.

“All in all it was a good day,” Watson said. “I had two sloppy bogeys coming down the stretch, but I will take it. It’s right where I want to be going into the weekend. … I played really well last week, just didn’t make the putts. This time I’m playing well and some of the putts are dropping.”

It’s been a long journey for Watson since his win at Augusta National. A victory this week would be his first after taking the green jacket, and while he’s had some opportunities, they’ve always seemed to slip away. Now he’s in the driver’s seat with a chance to make an even bigger impact on moving day.

Watson actually may have spent more time on his many charitable endeavors than golf this week. As soon as he left the course Friday, he went to a local food bank to pack snacks for needy families for the weekend. If that’s not the kind of guy you want to win, then I just don’t know what to tell you.

Brandon Raper is a golf writer for RantSports.com. “Like” him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Brandon__Raper, and join him on Google+.