Bubba Watson wins the 2014 Masters and becomes the sixth left-handed golfer to don the green jacket in the last 12 years.
Gerry “Bubba” Watson became a multiple Masters winner in emphatic fashion at Augusta National after fending off an early charge from young rookie Jordan Spieth.
“I don’t remember the closing holes, I just remember hanging on,” Watson said at the green jacket ceremony in Butler Cabin. “It was a bit easier this time.”
The most exciting part of the day came in the opening few holes and the often cantankerous Watson looked a little rattled thanks mainly to some pressure from his nearest rivals.
Veteran Fred Couples birdied his opening two holes to get within a couple of shots of Watson before the birdie train ground to a halt.
Matt Kuchar also got his round off to a flying start and got his tournament score to 6-under, in a tie for the lead but a double-bogey at the difficult fourth hole dented his hopes and he never fully recovered.
His younger playing partner Jordan Spieth, playing in just his first Masters Tournament looked like he was on his way to making history after an incredible hole out from the bunker on the fourth hole put him two shots clear of the field.
Despite a two shot deficit leaving the fourth green, Watson played solid golf and thanks to a two-shot swing with Spieth at the eighth hole, he had a share of the lead again. Another two-shot swing at the ninth and Watson was suddenly two shots clear.
From then on Watson was unflappable. The back nine at Augusta usually throws up some sort of curve ball to the leader on a Sunday at the Masters but Watson never really looked like making a mistake.
Watson’s only dice with danger came at the par-5 15th hole. He looked to be inviting a bogey or more on to his scorecard when he chose to play through pine trees and across water, despite holding a three-shot lead.
Commentator David Feherty said that Watson had “lost his marbles” to attempt such a dangerous shot holding a three-stroke advantage. But the shot summed up the all-or-nothing style of Bubba Watson.
His shot threaded between the trees, cleared the water and found the back of the green. A miss-chip back up the back briefly had golf fans wondering if they should catch the next bus to work, but a clutch par putt all but sealed the victory.
None of the Australians managed to shoot under par on Sunday. John Senden finished as the leading Aussie managing a 1-over-par 73 and inside the Top-10.
Adam Scott will be disappointed with his week. He didn’t play particularly well but still finished inside the Top-20 at 1-over-par for the tournament.
Jason Day and Steven Bowditch finished at in a tie for 20th at 2-over, while Oliver Goss walks away from Augusta National with a great experience under his belt as the first Australian to take the leading amateur honours at The Masters.
Watson’s victory means that there have been six left-handed Masters champions in the last 12 years – Phil Mickelson won three times, Watson twice and Mike Weir won in 2003. He also becomes the 17th player to win multiple green jackets.