Men's Golf

Bubba Watson Panic Attack: Defending Masters Champ Says He Suffers from Anxiety

KAPALUA, HI - JANUARY 03:  Bubba Watson hits a tee shot on the 18th hole during the Pro-Am round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course on January 3, 2013 in Kapalua, Hawaii.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Tim KeeneyContributor IJanuary 4, 2013

At the Children's Miracle Network Classic at Disney World last November, Charlie Beljan took home the victory despite feeling "like his heart was about to burst out of his chest." 

Bubba Watson, who has won a few important tournaments himself, said on Wednesday that he knew exactly how Beljan felt. 

The 2012 Masters champion told Golf Magazine (via Sports Illustrated's that he has dealt with panic attacks in the past:

Three times I’ve had issues where I thought something was wrong with me. It wasn’t anything I was doing at the time. The first time I was sleeping. I wasn’t really sleeping very well. It was ’07, I think. It was the middle of the night at home, I woke up and we went to the hospital. One time, in ’09, I was sitting watching TV at home. And one time, in 2011, I was at the golf course, and it wasn’t my heart—the other two times I thought it was my heart. The third time it was something down my leg.

Watson went on to say the problem has been diagnosed as acid reflux, a result of poor eating habits, but that he still suffers from anxiety. Things the increasingly popular golfer is "afraid" of include crowds, the dark and elevators or enclosed spaces. 

Anxiety disorder—in all its several different forms—is no joke.

It's a serious problem that often doesn't get much attention but is quickly making its way into the sports world more frequently as of late. 

Some talented athletes, such as Royce White (who has made it clear he doesn't feel as though he has gotten the help and support he deserves), struggle to overcome anxiety.

Some, such as Watson and Beljan, do a better job and still excel at the sport they love. 

CBS Sports' Matt Moore, who has had to work through anxiety himself, wrote a terrific piece back in October in an effort to raise awareness about panic attacks, anxiety disorder and how difficult they can be to deal with. 

Hopefully the stories of Watson and Beljan will help do the same.

At the very least, they will hopefully raise awareness about an increasingly prevalent condition and provide hope for athletes and anyone else battling this disorder. 


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