From the azalea bushes in full bloom; to the silly all-white outfits that the caddies wear; to the winding creeks in front of the thirteenth and fifteenth greens, to the hushed voices of the commentators, we are suckers for it all. We can’t resist the tournament, the hunt for the “green jacket,” even if Tiger Woods wasn’t amongst the contenders.
This year, for the first time in nearly two decades, he was home in Florida recuperating from surgery to relieve a trapped nerve in his back. Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most famous golf clubs in the world. Since 1934, it has played host to the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf, and the only major played each year at the same course. Big-driving Bubba Watson captured his second Masters title in three years, pulling away from 20 year old Jordan Spieth on the back nine for a three-stroke victory and to take away the green jacket from last year’s winner, Australian Adam Scott.
The 35-yearold left handed American fired a three-under par 69 to finish 72 holes on eight-under 280 and take his second major title, the top prize of $1.62 million from a record $9 million purse and another green jacket. “I never loved green so much,” Watson said. “After giving away that jacket last year, I wanted it back.” Spieth and Sweden’s Jonas Blixt, each in his first Masters, shared second on 283 with 50-year-old Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez fourth on 284, Americans Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar sharing fifth on 286 and England’s Lee Westwood seventh on 287. Watson joins Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros, Ben Crenshaw, Jose Maria Olazabal, Bernhard Langer and Horton Smith as a two-time winner. Only eight golfers have won the Masters more often.
That list begins with golf legends Jack Nicklaus (6), Arnold Palmer (4) and Tiger Woods (4), and ends with three-time winners Jimmy Demaret, Sam Snead, Gary Player, Nick Faldo and Phil Mickelson. EurAsia Cup star Thongchai Jaidee was Thailand’s best performers and capped a memorable week when he signed off with a one-over-par 73 to finish in a share of 37th place.