Golf

Bubba Watson stays grounded after second Masters victory

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As Bubba Watson proudly strode towards the eighteenth green at Augusta National in 2014, he already knew that the green-jacket was his.

Three shots clear of his two nearest rivals, Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt, at eight-under-par for the tournament, he could relax as he two-putted his way to victory.

It could not have been much more contrasting from the circumstances in which he won his first US Masters title. In 2012, he was required to hit a shot that will go down in the annals of Augusta history, from an impossible position in the trees to within ten foot of the flag, to win a play-off against Louis Oosthuizen.

It was a shot that propelled Watson to the golfing forefront and one that will always be associated with the American, but the charismatic Watson says that he much preferred winning it in more comfortable circumstances this time around.

“I feel a lot better doing it this way,” Watson said in his press conference after taking the title. “The shot out of the woods made me famous, but this one was a lot better for me and my nerves and my family.

"This one is a lot different. The first one is almost like I lucked into it, this was a lot of hard work and dedication and I got back the green jacket after giving it away last year.

“When he [Spieth] missed and he was tapping in, I went over to Teddy [Scott, Watson’s caddie] and I said, ‘I’m not very good at math, but we’ve got four putts, right?’

“He goes, ‘Yes, just lag it down.’ I said, ‘It’s fast? It’s real fast’. But it’s a lot better for my nerves winning this way.”

Watson led Augusta at the midway stage this year – and has only converted one lead after 36 holes to a victory in eight attempts previously – but when the pressure mounted he showed a steely resilience and flashes of genius to take the title.

Despite seeing his outright lead taken from him on the third-day, after a round of 74, he went into the final-day level with Spieth at five-under-par at the top of the leaderboard, but showed greater consistency than the prodigiously talented 20-year-old at the crucial stage of the event and ended up a comfortable winner, carding a score of 69, three-under-par.

“Holes eight and nine were really the turning point where momentum kind of went my way,” Watson explained.

“After that, nobody in the group in front of us [Blixt and Matt Kuchar] and the other groups really caught fire. There wasn’t too many birdies after No. 10, I don’t think.

"I don't remember the last few holes, I just remember hanging on, making pars. Somehow I did and walking up 18 was a little easier this time."

Watson, who has never had a golf lesson in his life, now joins a list of just 16 other players to claim two green-jackets over the course of their careers, but does this make him an elite player?

"No, no," the 35-year-old said. "Again, I just got lucky enough to have two green jackets. I'm just trying to keep my tour card every year and if people say that I'm a good player, that's great.

"I'm trying to play golf for a living. I'm not trying to play golf for everybody to tell me how great I am or I'm one of the greats of the game. I play golf because I love it. I love the game, I want to grow the game. The game has brought me everything that I've ever owned in my life."

Watson tweeted a picture of his celebrations at a local waffle-house after his victory. And, whilst they may not be as lavish as some players would have opted for, with his game perfectly suited to score well at Augusta, it may not be the last time that particular restaurant enjoys the company of the Masters champion.

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Topics:
Bubba Watson
Golf
US Masters

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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