Bubba Garners Second Green Jacket

Mike Higgins

Bubba Watson holds off the field to win his 2nd Masters in three years

The man from the little town of Baghdad, FL played some spectacular golf last week on his way to victory in the 78th Masters Tournament. Bubba Watson shot a four round total of 280 to finish at -8 earning himself a 3 shot victory over Masters rookies Jordan Speith and Jonas Blixt.

After Tiger Woods had to withdraw due to back surgery a week and a half before the tournament, many suspected that tournament would suffer. However, Augusta never disappoints, and there were numerous exciting moments echoing through the Georgia pine trees. Ryan Moore won the annual Par 3 Contest on Wednesday perfectly setting the scene for the opening round of the tournament.

At roughly 7:40 AM Thursday morning, Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne and three of the games greatest major champions, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus, took to the First Tee for the Ceremonial Tee Shots. After Nicklaus hit the final drive of the group, Payne said his annual line, “The 2014 Masters has now officially begun.” The first round leader was Bill Haas after shooting a 68 (-4). Watson impressed on day two firing a 68 to add to his first round 69 to grab the halfway lead at -7. Fan favorite Phil Mickelson missed the cut after shooting +5 over the first two days.


On moving day, Speith played his way into the final pairing shooting his third consecutive round under par with a 70 to finish the day at -5. Watson struggled early on Saturday and finished at -5 along with Speith after a 74. The long driving lefty actually made a few long par saves at the 17th and 18th holes to maintain a share of the lead. The round of the day went to the 50 year old Spaniard, Miguel Angel Jimenez, who carded seven birdies on his way to a tournament low round of 66. “The Mechanic” was looking to become the oldest Masters champion and oldest winner of a major if he were to break through on Sunday. At 20 years old, Speith was also attempting to break Tiger Woods’ record of the youngest ever winner of the Masters.


There was a lot of movement on the leaderboard even before the leaders teed off on Sunday afternoon. Matt Kuchar, Fred Couples, and Rickie Fowler all made early birdies to put some pressure on the leaders. Then Speith started to catch fire on his opening seven holes. He moved to -8 after seven holes and opened a two shot lead over Watson. Speith holed his bunker shot at the par 3 fourth, hit it in tight at the par 3 sixth, and drained a long putt for another birdie at the par 4 seventh. Then the tides turned on the next two holes. Watson went birdie, birdie and Speith shot bogey, bogey to turn a two shot lead into a two shot deficit in only two holes. That lead was never relinquished by Watson who played a solid back nine carding one birdie, one bogey, and seven pars. That finish allowed him to join 16 other of the game’s greats as multiple Masters Champions.


Like usual this year’s playing of the Masters did not disappoint. Tiger or no Tiger, you can’t take away the aurora of Augusta National since this tournament is truly “A Tradition Unlike Any Other.”