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2014 Masters, Bubba Watson Wins Again

2014 Masters, Bubba Watson Wins Again

2014 Masters, Bubba Watson Wins Again

The 2014 Masters, Day 4: A deserved champion

Well done, Bubba. Your play throughout the entire week was consistent, unflappable and deserved of a Masters’ champion with a 3-under 72-hole score of 8-under 280. For the most part, Bubba Watson’s creativity and go-for-broke approach to the game wasn’t a major factor in the 2014 Masters’ tournament.

What was, however, was Watson’s superior length, deft short game and calm demeanor. With a nearly wire-to-wire win, Watson claimed his second green jacket in three years in just six Augusta National appearances. 

2014 Masters

Bubba Watson kisses his son, Caleb, after winning the 2014 Masters Sunday.

Watson, the 2012 Masters’ champ, was in control on Sunday. Even when Masters’ rookie Jordan Spieth, and Watson’s final pairing partner, administered some early pressure, leading by two after seven holes, Watson remained in the moment.

In fact, Watson, 35, even appeared to relish in his 2014 Masters win, congratulating the 20-year-old Spieth on well-played shots, like Spieth’s second shot out of the bunker on the par-3 4th hole, which disappeared into the hole for an unimaginable birdie.

To which the self-taught Floridian followed up with a clutch birdie putt of his own. No one outside of Spieth really pushed the lefty, and Watson played his final 18 as though the end was inevitable, able to amble down the final round’s 18th fairway and into golf history.

A well-documented group of deserved golfers found themselves in the top 10 through three rounds, and the entire golfing community looked, if not assumed, that someone from the pack would make a run. But it never really happened. Matt Kuchar and Jonas Blixt tried and failed along with Spieth to surpass the former University of Georgia Bulldog playing in his alma mater’s state.

Instead, Watson maintained control. After Spieth bogeyed 8 and 9 on the front nine, two holes that Watson solidly birdied, the tournament was effectively over. Watson’s play was too focused on the entire back nine for anyone else to truly compete. That, coupled with no other golfer making a patented back-nine charge, meant Watson could cruise a bit, although he never exactly let up either.

2014 Masters

Rookie Jordan Spieth, 20, held a short lead and amazing chip-in Sunday, but Bubba Watson’s calm demeanor, long shots and precise short game proved too much for the field in a nearly wire-to-wire Masters win.

Some may say that the lack of drama on the final nine on Sunday meant a lackluster finish. However, many others will say that this was Watson’s tournament from Round 1, where his opening round 69 put him near the top of the leaderboard. A second round 68 put him in first place, and a Round 3 74 positioned him tied for the lead going into Sunday. 

That third-round performance, one that was out of character for Watson for the week, was likely just what the lefty needed. A humbling reminder as to just what Augusta can do. A slight waiver of confidence here, a small miss-read there — and a 70 can turn into a 74 very quickly. It was that humbling round that likely was the most important round in Watson’s 2014 Masters’ title run.

The now-savvy veteran withstood the early-round charges of Spieth, and played solidly down the stretch on Sunday, to earn himself a second Masters’ title with a final round 69. It was not full of flash. There was no miraculous shot. Instead, it was comprised of steady, unflappable play by a seasoned player that had already been there and done that.

Congratulations, Bubba. You’re one class act.

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