Date: April 14, 2014

Grant Report – Bubba blitz at Masters

Bubba Watson, one of golf’s most creative and exciting players, collected his second Masters in three years as the Australian challenge at Augusta wilted.

While defending champion Adam Scott led a strong bid early in the event, it was Watson who remained unshakeable, winning by three shots from Masters rookies Jordan Spieth and Swede Jonas Blixt.

After his initial victory in 2012, the self-effacing and largely self-taught popular left-hander was left stunned once more.

"A guy named Bubba from a small town, born in Pensacola, Florida, raised in Bagdad (Florida), it’s crazy to think that you’ve won," Watson told reporters on Sunday.

"A small-town guy named Bubba now has two green jackets. It’s pretty wild.

"After getting the green jacket the first time, 2012, winning it, you know, it’s overwhelming," said the 35-year-old Watson, who was not shy in sharing his tears of joy with the world after sinking the winning putt.

His first major was achieved one week after Watson and his wife Angie adopted their first child, Caleb and Watson admitted he had some major re-adjusting to do on both the home and work fronts.

"Learning to be a dad and then learning to have a green jacket with you is two big things to adjust to so it just took me a little time," he said.

"It took me a year or so to get adjusted. I’m not really that good at that.

"Finally I got adjusted to it and here we are, another green jacket."

The key to his win came at the eighth and ninth holes which Spieth, his playing partner, bogeyed and Watson birdied, thus crafting a two-shot deficit into a two-shot lead at the turn.

"It was lucky for me today that nobody really made putts coming down the stretch," he said about the lack of a charge by any of his rivals on the back nine. "So I didn’t have to make putts myself."

Australians were a popular pre-tournament pick after claiming four out of eight US PGA Tour events leading into the Masters but it was not to be.

Scott began the final round six shots off the pace and could not make up the difference, ending up in a tie for 14th, nine shots adrift of Watson.

"The story of my weekend was some sloppy stuff around the greens, and that doesn’t bode well here," Scott told AAP.

"I was really happy with where I put myself on Friday night and without over analysing it was a poor nine holes on Saturday that stopped all my momentum and had me on the back foot.

"I just couldn’t go anywhere from there and that’s what it’s like at majors.

"You’re nine good holes from winning it and nine bad holes from being out of it."

Queenslander John Senden was the leading Australian, taking a share of eighth at even par. But he can take some pleasure in the fact he will be back in 2015, courtesy of finishing in the top 12.

"That’s a total bonus," Senden said.

"Today was up and down. I had to stay disciplined, had to stay patient with this place, but I’m thrilled to get back here again next year and see if I can improve."

Jason Day, one of the pre-tournament favourites, finished tied for 20th, hampered perhaps by a recent finger injury.

"I feel like I hit it well enough to contend this week and just didn’t capitalise on the greens," Day said.

"The greens were very tricky and, obviously, just didn’t putt very well.

"It was just a good solid week to start off. Obviously, it was a tough tournament to come back to, but there is positive stuff going forward.

"I think that I did a lot of good things this week, I just have to look at what needs to be improved for next year and then go on from there."

Steven Bowditch, in his Masters debut, finished in a tie for 26th while amateur Oliver Goss may was 49th, but achieved the feat of becoming the first Australian to win low amateur at the Masters.

By: Robert Grant