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The ‘Year of Bubba’ is on. His win at Augusta catapulted his YOTTO mark up to a robust 229, ending Jimmy Walker’s three-month reign atop the Index, and currently trailing only Tiger’s 1999 mark as the best we’ve measured since 1991. Bubba’s game is tailor-made for Augusta, so it’s certainly not surprising he won another Green Jacket. But more than that, his emergence has been festering for a few months now as captured on our Index and through these updates:

Case in point, here’s what I wrote a month ago (3/12/14):

The ‘It’ Group this year (obligatory so far) is Walker, Bubba, DJ, Reed, English, and Day. Those are your POY candidates. Should be among the Augusta favorites too (along with the usual suspects).

And here’s what I wrote back in February (2/18/14):

A month ago or so it looked like Zach Johnson, Harris English and Chris Kirk were going to be the ‘It’ guys coming out of the Reach-around/West Coast swing. And while each are definitely having ‘nice’ to ‘extremely nice’ seasons, it’s been two relative heavyweights, DJ and Bubba, that have asserted themselves on the YOTTO Index and in the Media spotlight.

So the Masters win makes Bubba the clear leader in the clubhouse for Player of the Year. Somebody (looking at you, Jimmy Walker) is going to have to nab a major along the way, and/or go ballistic the second half of the season to challenge. And one other observation–the pack is bifurcating. There’s Bubba and Jimmy Walker separated out in rarefied air (each would have top-10 all-time YOTTOs), then a clear and precipitous fall to a big pack starting at 117 and below (top-20 all-time YOTTO mark is 141, top-10 all-time is 158 fyi). This is obviously fluid and can change drastically week to week as any of these guys pick off a win, but in the meantime, right now, it’s Bubba and Jimmy, then everybody else.