The emotional roller coaster that is Sunday at Augusta did not disappoint. Bubba Watson co-led with Jordan Spieth heading into the final round, and the first seven holes were all about Jordan.
Spieth birdied two, four, six, and seven along with a bogey on five to open up a two-shot lead. The lead would have been more, but Watson matched Spieth’s birdies on four and six after a bogey on three.
Spieth may have been showing some nerves by hitting his first few drives to the left, but he was managing his game very well through seven holes.
However, on the eighth hole, everything would change as Watson kicked his game into high gear.
Watson birdied eight and nine while Spieth bogeyed both holes to give Watson a two-shot lead with nine holes to play.
Thru 9: Watson (-8), Spieth (-6).
The back nine got off to a rocky start with Watson bogeying ten, and Spieth missing a 10-footer for birdie on eleven to even the score.
Spieth made a crucial mistake on twelve by going for the pin, coming up short, and watching the ball roll back into the water. He made a clutch 10-footer for bogey, but walked off the green with a two-shot deficit.
Watson’s tee shot on the thirteenth was the first wow moment of the back nine. He cut the corner and had a mere pitching wedge into the 510-yard par-5. Watson birdied while Spieth missed another makeable putt for birdie.
Thru 13: Watson (-8), Spieth (-5), Jonas Blixt (-5).
On the par-5 fifteenth, Spieth went for the green and bailed out just above the right greenside bunker. Watson was on the left side and seemed to have tree trouble, but opted to go for the green (astonishing the announcers and millions around the world). His approach hit the front third of the green and rolled over, leaving a very delicate chip.
Spieth chipped to eight-feet, and Watson didn’t get his ball on the green, but had a good chance to get down in two for par. Spieth missed again (after the round he said more course knowledge would have been helpful on the greens), and Watson made par.
Both players missed birdie opportunities on sixteen.
The final drama occurred on the seventeenth. Both Spieth and Watson hit their drives to the left, and had tree trouble on their approach shots. Spieth missed wide right, and Watson missed about five yards short of the front right corner of the green. Spieth nearly holed out for birdie, but his ball needed a couple more rotations. Watson chipped five-feet passed the hole, and fist pumped as his knee-knocker went in.
With a three-shot lead, Watson placed his 4-wood down the center of the fairway, club twirled after his approach, and left his 15-footer just short of the hole. After Watson holed out for the win, he started to tear up, and lost it when he was congratulated by his wife and young son.
It was an impressive tournament for Bubba and Jordan. Watson won his second Green Jacket with a final round three-under 69, and Spieth had an opportunity to win if he made a few more putts. Spieth’s final round 72 and T2 finish with Blixt will help propel him to new heights in his young career.