Conventional wisdom has it that the Masters starts on the back nine on Sunday but not this Sunday. The drama started right out of the gate with the final pairing racking up a combined eight birdies on the front side. On the downside, but adding drama to the game, were the four bogeys Spieth and Watson accumulated, with Jordan coming out the on the short end.
The 20 year old Masters rookie struck first with a sliding left to right ten footer on the par-5 second hole. Bubba, who dominated the par fives all week, could only manage birdie after driving into the right fairway bunker. The fun was just beginning as it seemed everyone with a decent chance of making a charge on the front side was scoring. Kuch dropped back to back birds on two and three which tied him at -6 with Spieth. Miguel Angel was in the hunt, along with Rickie and the other Masters first timer, Jonas Blixt. In the end, none of these players would challenge the eventual winner although they all finished well, top five or better.
The real game was in the last twosome of the day with both winding up and throwing haymakers. Bubba appeared to take the advantage on four when Spieth found the front green side bunker but that was an illusion as Spieth hit his shot of the day by holing out. Bubba coolly coaxed his bird in on top and the lead stayed at 1. They traded birdies again on the next 3 par, the downhill 6th. The young Texan pushed the lead to two with a gently stroked birdie from above the hole on seven while Bubba save par from the bunker. The tournament seemed like it belonged to the Kid right then but the golf gods giveth and they taketh away.
They took two strokes away from Spieth on holes and nine and they gave them to Watson. A three putt on the eighth was the first crack in Spieth’s game but it wasn’t the last as his approach to nine was repelled down the false front into the fairway below.
In the space of two holes there was a four shot turnaround. The Kid had thrown his best shot at the 2012 champ, had staggered him for a moment, but then couldn’t withstand the counterpunches Bubba delivered, especially the curling birdie putt on 9 that had three feet of break at least. There were nine holes left to play but the 78th Masters was won at the ninth by the most unique player in the game today. Well done, Bubba.
FINAL TALLY for LinksLifeGolf staff picks:
The Greek and G. Rennie split this pot with the Tie 2nd place by Jordan Spieth.
Lil Skins nearly came all the way back with his 50 year old runner, Miguel Angel Jimenez in fourth
Big Dick swung hard and just missed with two players tied fifth, Kuuuuuch and Rickie.
Big Skins continued to fade with a T 14th posted by the defending champ, Adam Scott.