Bubba Watson did not need a playoff or a miraculous winding shot from the woods on the 10th hole to secure his second green jacket in three years on Sunday at the Masters.
Watson gained momentum on the eighth hole, took control of the tournament on the ninth hole, and effectively slammed the door shut on the par-5 13th hole to prevent 20-year-old Masters rookie Jordan Spieth from breaking Tiger Woods’ record as the youngest winner at Augusta.
Watson finished at 8-under par for the tournament and -3 for the day and savored his walk to the 18th green with the three shot lead — and the tournament — in hand barring a Jean Van de Velde moment. There wasn’t any and after the round Watson said he didn’t even remember the last few holes as he was just trying to hang on and make pars. Watson, the University of Georgia graduate, was two shots back of Spieth heading to the 8th hole. He promptly birdied the 8th and the 9th while Spieth bogeyed both.
After Watson bogeyed the 10th, Spieth was within one, but Spieth hit his tee shot into the water on the famed 12th hole but saved his bogey by getting it up and down from the drop area. But on the 13th hole, Watson just blistered his drive 360 yards and had a short wedge to the green. Though he misplayed his approach shot, Watson birdied the hole while Spieth settled for par.
Game effectively over.
This was the first Masters without Tiger Woods since 1994 and the also the first in which neither Woods nor Mickelson was playing on the weekend since then. Spieth was trying to become the youngest winner ever and some were dubbing him “heir Jordan.”
Not so fast.
Woods won by a miraculous 12 shots then to become break Seve Ballesteros’ record as the youngest winner of the Green Jacket. Spieth was in position to do so on the front nine, but showed he was no Tiger either on the course or probably in the ratings that will be released tomorrow.
Watson said that he felt like he lucked into his first green jacket and his second was won with lots of hard work and grit.
Adam Scott, last year’s Masters winner, put the green jacket on Watson, who, as the winner the year before Scott won the Masters, put the jacket on Scott last year.
“After giving away that jacket last year, I kind of wanted it back,” Watson told Masters Chairman Billy Payne and CBS’ Jim Nantz at Butler Cabin. “I’ve never loved green so much.”