Golf | Masters

Bubba Watson outlasts Jordan Spieth, Jonas Blixt to win second Masters in three years

 

Bubba Watson captures his second Masters in three years, outlasting 20-year-old Jordan Spieth and Sweden’s Jonas Blixt.

 
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 13: Bubba Watson of the United States poses with the green jacket after winning the 2014 Masters Tournament by a three-stroke margin at Augusta National Golf Club on April 13, 2014 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 13: Bubba Watson of the United States poses with the green jacket after winning the 2014 Masters Tournament by a three-stroke margin at Augusta National Golf Club on April 13, 2014 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How / Getty Images

Final leaderboard

Name R4 Par
1. Bubba Watson69-8
T2. Jonas Blixt71-5
T2. Jordan Spieth72-5
4. Miguel A. Jimenez71-4
T5. Rickie Fowler73-2
T5. Matt Kuchar74-2
7. Lee Westwood73-1

Inside: Two lines here to mastsider here, XD

Inside: Two lines here to mastnotes here, XD


Special to the Miami Herald

As they prepared for their final-group pairing early Sunday afternoon, Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth were side by side on the driving range, close together on the practice putting green, joking and jabbering away as the clock kept ticking toward their 2:40 p.m. tee time.

They have become good friends, these two. Watson, the 35-year-old, self-proclaimed, self-taught “small-town boy” from Bagdad, Fla., and Spieth, a 20-year-old golfing prodigy from Dallas, who later would go at each other in a typically compelling final round of the 78th Masters at Augusta National.

When it was over, there was Watson sobbing again in his caddie’s arms, carrying his toddler son off the course and then slipping on a green jacket in the Butler Cabin for the second time in three years. With a final-round 69 and 8-under-par 280, Watson had a three-shot cushion when he stepped up to the tee at the 18th hole, and one routine par later he was able to secure a three-shot victory over Spieth (72-283) and another Augusta National first-timer, plucky Johas Blixt (71-283) of Sweden.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Watson, who earned $1.62 million for his second victory of the year. “To win here twice and to be with the great names … a small-town guy named Bubba now has two green jackets. It’s pretty wild. … It’s pretty cool.”

Spieth was all ice-cool and comfortable himself at the start of this warm afternoon of gentle breezes and devilishly speedy greens. He played his first seven holes in 3-under, holing out a bunker shot for birdie at the fourth and actually taking a two-shot lead over Watson going to the eighth tee.

“It was just another round to us, and I felt like that was going to help us both out, and we approached it like that,” Spieth said. “We were walking down the fairway talking about anything. We were messing with each other just like we always do. … It was a good time. Whether my face showed it or not on the back nine, I was really, really enjoying myself and taking it all in.”

And then, for Spieth at least, it was a very bad time, what both men later acknowledged as the turning point, tipping the tournament in Watson’s direction going to the back nine.

When Spieth bogeyed the eighth and ninth holes, his buddy Bubba birdied both. Suddenly, Spieth’s two-shot lead had disappeared, and Watson was ahead by two going into the back side. And Watson never trailed again.

“Lucky for me [Sunday] is that nobody really made putts coming down the stretch,” Watson said. “So I didn’t have to make putts myself.”

Spieth further crippled his own chances when a 9-iron he struck at the 155-yard 12th hole hit just in front of the green but came back down the slope and splashed into Rae’s Creek. Spieth managed to save his bogey with a big-time 12-foot putt, but when Watson, who bogeyed No. 10, walked off the putting surface after a chip from behind the green and a three-foot putt for par, Spieth still trailed by two, and he never got closer.

“On 12, he made a great up-and-down,” Watson said. “But the shot on 12, if he could have that back … I made a 10 there last year. I wish I could have that back.”

At that point, Spieth’s quest to become the youngest Masters champion in history was in serious jeopardy, and when he failed to birdie the two short par-5s at 13 and 15, he knew his time was not quite now.

“I thought I had a good number at 12,” Spieth said. “I had a 9-iron, with 150 to the hole and 143-145 to carry the bunker. When I got over it, I felt [the wind] was just dead. And when it was in the air, I thought it was good, actually. From there on, he just played incredible golf.”

Spieth and Blixt did not.

Blixt birdied the 13th but finished with five consecutive pars and never really threatened the lead. The 29-year-old former Florida State star can look back with pride at his first Masters with four consecutive rounds under par.

And Spieth, only three years removed from high school, did not make a birdie on the back nine, even if he obviously demonstrated during the week that he may be the next great player of his generation, also with four rounds of par or lower.

“I’m very, very pleased, no doubt,” Spieth said. “It stings right now, and the only thing I’m thinking about is when am I getting back next year? Obviously, I’ve worked my whole life to lead Augusta on Sunday, and although I feel like it’s very early in my career and I’ll have more chances, it’s a stinger. And I had it in my hands, and I could have gone forward with it and just didn’t quite make the putts, and that’s what it came down to.

“But, ultimately, I’m very happy. I’ve accomplished one of my goals this year, which is to get in contention in a major and see how I can do. Hopefully, going forward, I can do that again. There’s still three more this year.”

Watson also made it a point on the 72nd hole to tell his young friend there will be other chances.

“Just like I told him when I shook his hand, gave him a hug,” Watson said. “He’s a great talent, and you’re going to have a lot more opportunities. You’re only 20. But you know, he doesn’t really care what I have to say at that moment.”

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  • PGA European - Italian Open Preview

    Thursday, August 28th through Sunday, August 31st Course Info Site: Circolo Golf Torino, Fiano, Torino, Italy Course Architect: John Morrison (1956), Graham Cooke and Mario Croze -redesign Par: 72 Yardage: 7,208 Hole by Hole Front Nine: 36 3,555 Yds 1 - Par 5 511 Yds 2 - Par 4 414 Yds 3 - Par 4 412 Yds 4 - Par 4 423 Yds 5 - Par 3 178 Yds 6 - Par 4 466 Yds 7 - Par 4 398 Yds 8 - Par 3 195 Yds 9 - Par 5 558 Yds Back Nine: 36 3,653 Yds 10 - Par 4 427 Yds 11 - Par 4 427 Yds 12 - Par 5 531 Yds 13 - Par 3 186 Yds 14 - Par 4 371 Yds 15 - Par 5 593 Yds 16 - Par 3 220 Yds 17 - Par 4 465 Yds 18 - Par 4 433 Yds Tournament Info Year: 71st Television: Golf Channel - Thursday -- 5:30-7:30 a.m. (et), -- 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et), - Friday -- 6-7:30 a.m. (et), 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. (et), - Saturday -- 7-11 a.m. (et), - Sunday -- 7-11:30 a.m. (et) Champion: Julien Quesne Runner Up: Steve Webster, David Higgins Tournament Record: 262 (Peter Alliss, 1935) 54-Hole Record: 194 (Hennie Otto, 2008) 36-Hole Record: 128 (Ian Poulter, 2002) Course Record: 66 (Romain Wattel and Scott Hend, 2013) Total Purse: $1,975,292 (1,500,000 euros) Shares: 2013 Final Leaderboard Julien Quesne 276 Steve Webster 277 David Higgins 277 Fredrik Andersson Hed 278 Nicolas Colsaerts 278 Felipe Aguilar 278 Emiliano Grillo 278 Six players at 279 Past Winners 2013: Julien Quesne (276). Runner up: Steve Webster, David Higgins 2012: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (264). Runner up: Garth Mulroy 2011: Robert Rock (267). Runner up: Gary Boyd, Thorbjorn Olesen 2010: Fredrik Andersson Hed (272). Runner up: David Horsey 2009: Daniel Vancsik (267). Runner up: Raphael Jacquelin, John Daly, Robert Rock 2008: Hennie Otto (263). Runner up: Oliver Wilson 2007: *#Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (200). Runner up: Markus Brier 2006: Francesco Molinari (265). Runner up: Anders Hansen, Jarmo Sandelin 2005: Steve Webster (270). Runner up: Anders Hansen, Bradley Dredge, Richard Finch 2004: *#Graeme McDowell (197). Runner up: Thomas Levet 2003: Mathias Gronberg (271). Runner up: Jose Manuel Lara, Colin Montgomerie, Ricardo Gonzalez 2002: #Ian Poulter (197). Runner up: Paul Lawrie 2001: Gregory Havret (268). Runner up: Bradley Dredge 2000: Ian Poulter (267). Runner up: Gordon Brand, Jr. 1999: Dean Robertson (271). Runner up: Padraig Harrington 1998: #Patrik Sjoland (195). Runner up: Jose Maria Olazabal, Joakim Haeggman 1997: Bernhard Langer (273). Runner up: Jose Maria Olazabal 1996: Jim Payne (275). Runner up: Patrik Sjoland 1995: Sam Torrance (269). Runner up: Jose Rivero 1994: Eduardo Romero (272). Runner up: Greg Turner 1993: Greg Turner (267). Runner up: Jose Coceres 1992: Sandy Lyle (270). Runner up: Colin Montgomerie 1991: Craig Parry (279). Runner up: Ian Woosnam 1990: Richard Boxall (267). Runner up: Jose Maria Olazabal 1989: Ronan Rafferty (273). Runner up: Sam Torrance 1988: Greg Norman (270). Runner up: Craig Parry 1987: *Sam Torrance (271). Runner up: Jose Rivero 1986: *David Feherty (270). Runner up: Ronan Rafferty 1985: Manuel Pinero (267). Runner up: Sam Torrance 1984: Sandy Lyle (277). Runner up: Bobby Clampett 1983: *Bernhard Langer (271). Runner up: Seve Ballesteros, Ken Brown 1982: Mark James (280). Runner up: Ian Woosnam, Bobby Clampett 1981: *Jose Maria Canizares (280). Runner up: Bobby Clampett 1980: Massimo Mannelli (276). Runner up: John Bland, Ken Brown 1979: Brian Barnes (281). Runner up: Dale Hayes 1978: Dale Hayes (293). Runner up: Tommy Horton, Vin Baker 1977: Angel Gallardo (286). Runner up: Brian Barnes 1976: Baldovino Dassu (280). Runner up: Carl Mason, Manuel Pinero 1975: Billy Casper (286). Runner up: Brian Barnes 1974: Peter Oosterhuis (249). Runner up: Dale Hayes, Johnny Miller 1973: Tony Jacklin (284). Runner up: Valentin Barrios 1972: Norman Wood (271). Runner up: Brian Huggett 1971: Ramon Sota (282). Runner up: Brian Barnes 1970: Not Held. Runner up: 1969: Not Held. Runner up: 1968: Not Held. Runner up: 1967: Not Held. Runner up: 1966: Not Held. Runner up: 1965: Not Held. Runner up: 1964: Not Held. Runner up: 1963: Not Held. Runner up: 1962: Not Held. Runner up: 1961: Not Held. Runner up: 1960: B.Wilkes (285). Runner up: Aldo Casera 1959: Peter Thomson (269). Runner up: A. Angelini 1958: Peter Alliss (282). Runner up: A. Angelini 1957: Harold Henning (273). Runner up: R. Cotton 1956: A.Cerda (284). Runner up: Flora van Donck 1955: Flora van Donck (287) - H. DeLamaze. Runner up: 1954: Ugo Grappasonni (272). Runner up: J. Jacobs 1953: Flora van Donck (267). Runner up: L. Faulkner 1952: E.Brown (273). Runner up: D. Rees 1951: J.Adams (289). Runner up: E. Brown, A. Angelini 1950: Ugo Grappasonni (281). Runner up: A. Angelini 1949: H.Hassanein (263). Runner up: Aldo Casera 1948: Aldo Casera (267). Runner up: P. Manca, Ugo Grappasonni 1947: Flory Van Donck (263). Runner up: Aldo Casera 1946: Not Held. Runner up: 1945: Not Held. Runner up: 1944: Not Held. Runner up: 1943: Not Held. Runner up: 1942: Not Held. Runner up: 1941: Not Held. Runner up: 1940: Not Held. Runner up: 1939: Not Held. Runner up: 1938: Flory van Donck (276). Runner up: P. Travaini 1937: M.Dallegagne (276). Runner up: Auguste Boyer 1936: Henry Cotton (268). Runner up: J. Ezar 1935: Peter Alliss (262). Runner up: Auguste Boyer 1934: N.Nutley (132). Runner up: Gonzales 1933: Not Held. Runner up: 1932: A.Boomer (143). Runner up: Auguste Boyer 1931: Auguste Boyer (141). Runner up: R. Golias 1930: Auguste Boyer (140). Runner up: A. Dallemagne 1929: R.Golias (143). Runner up: Auguste Boyer 1928: Auguste Boyer (145). Runner up: Loth 1927: Peter Alliss (145). Runner up: M. Dallemagne 1926: Auguste Boyer (147). Runner up: A. Ross 1925: Francesco Pasquali (154). Runner up: W.H. Jolly * - Won in Playoff # - Rain Shortened Formerly called BMW Italian Open (2009-12), Methorios Capital Italian Open (2008), Telecom Italia Open (2002-07), Atlanet Italian Open (2001), Fiat & Fila Italian Open (1999), Conte of Florence Italian Open (1996), Tisettanta Italian Open (1994), Lancia-Martini Italian Open (1990-93), Lancia Italian Open (1987-89), Italian Open (1971-86, 95, 98, 2000). Top Contenders Julien Quesne 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: mc 2011: 2012: mc 2013: Won Steve Webster 2004: 2005: Won 2006: mc 2007: mc 2008: T-23 2009: 2010: T-46 2011: T-33 2012: T-57 2013: T-2 David Higgins 2004: 2005: 2006: mc 2007: mc 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: T-2 Nicolas Colsaerts 2004: mc 2005: T-32 2006: T-12 2007: T-30 2008: 2009: 2010: T-3 2011: 2012: T-5 2013: T-4 F. Andersson Hed 2004: T-28 2005: mc 2006: 2007: T-3 2008: mc 2009: T-54 2010: Won 2011: T-15 2012: T-35 2013: T-4 Hennie Otto 2004: 2005: mc 2006: T-33 2007: 2008: Won 2009: mc 2010: T-7 2011: T-46 2012: T-22 2013: T-8 Francesco Molinari 2004: T-13 2005: T-17 2006: Won 2007: T-3 2008: mc 2009: T-6 2010: 2011: T-8 2012: T-46 2013: T-16 Matteo Manassero 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-25 2010: T-29 2011: T-8 2012: T-3 2013: T-42 Gregory Bourdy 2004: 2005: T-60 2006: T-33 2007: T-60 2008: T-30 2009: 2010: T-22 2011: T-11 2012: T-3 2013: T-42 Simon Dyson 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: wd 2011: 2012: 2013: T-47 Mathias Gronberg 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-42 2010: 2011: 2012: mc 2013: T-66 Jose M. Olazabal 2004: mc 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: T-63 2013: 70th R. Cabrera Bello 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: T-56 2008: T-51 2009: 2010: mc 2011: T-67 2012: 9th 2013: mc Robert Rock 2004: T-48 2005: T-37 2006: mc 2007: T-56 2008: T-51 2009: T-2 2010: T-17 2011: Won 2012: T-46 2013: mc Joost Luiten 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: T-32 2011: 5th 2012: mc 2013: Stephen Gallacher 2004: T-48 2005: T-70 2006: 2007: 2008: mc 2009: mc 2010: mc 2011: 2012: 2013: NOTES: One of the most storied events on the European Tour schedule, the Italian Open takes center stage this week. This tournament dates back to 1925. Some of the European Tour's best are in the United States competing in the PGA Tour Playoffs. However, three of the top 50 players in the world are in the field - Stephen Gallacher (34), Italian Francesco Molinari (44) and Joost Luiten (50).

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