TULSA — In the fall of 2021, when Ted Scott told Bubba Watson that he'd like a guarantee of 10 more years as his caddie, it was a promise Bubba couldn't make … not because of Scott, but because of himself.

"I said, look, man, I’m 43 years old," Bubba recalled earlier this year. "I don’t know what I’m going to do. 

My wrist is killing me. He's like, he needs 10 more years. ... I can’t tell him what I’m going to do in 10 years. I can’t tell you what I’m going to do in six months."

So they split, and Ted Scott had the world's softest landing when he became Scottie Scheffler's caddie. 

As for Bubba, he's still 43, it's been four years since his last victory at the 2018 Travelers Championship, and though he remains a dangerous weapon, he's also in a place in his career where the next time he contends at a major might be the last.

Which is relevant this week at Southern Hills, because Bubba Watson is officially contending at the PGA Championship.

He came out of nowhere with a Friday 63 that could have been lower, and on Saturday, in fourth place and chasing down two leaders who have never won on the PGA Tour, much less at a major, opportunity seemed ripe for the plucking.

On a gray, windy and, most of all, cold day, Watson showed up on the first tee in a gray sweater, khaki pants (no pleat) and white Ping visor atop the quasi-page boy haircut, greeted by the usual array of rogue "Bubba!" shouts from the gallery.