Bubba Paints a “Masterful” Finish
by John D. Hobbins, Greenside Golf Academy
It is over and it all happened too quickly for me. It was Thursday and then it was Sunday. There was no “Tiger” lurking this week and Phil failed to make the cut. The grounds of Augusta National were pristine as usual. Every television cable was buried and every green hot dog wrapper properly disposed of. There is not a greater production of golf for both drama and viewing.
What did not happen
As Masters go Sunday afternoon did not follow the script. The movement on the leaderboard failed to produce the drama that we have come to expect. Overall the course was the victor as it played very difficult and did not permit any significant moves as it has in the past. The greens were putting at a Stimp of 13 and the flags were fortified by their positions on those treacherous slopes. They remained safe from attack.
How difficult was the course this year?
Of the 49 players making the cut only 7 were able to break par. Jordan Spieth, at 20 years of age was winning the Masters through the first seven holes on Sunday afternoon. Bubba Watson, a champion here in 2012 won the last eleven holes and staked himself to a second green jacket with a three shot victory .
While Bubba finished at 8 under par second place was shared by Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt. On a personal note I was pleased that neither were victorious. Had either of them won, the USGA would be busy this week creating a ban on a left hand low putting for right-handed players. I favor the lead arm low in putting for stability with the stroke. Whew!!! That was a close one. Both players should be on their respective Ryder Cup teams this fall.
Notable players who failed to survive the 36 hole cut at 4 over par:
- Phil Mickelson
- Sergio Garcia
- Webb Simpson
- Dustin Johnson
- Harris English
- Patrick Reed
- Angel Cabrera
- Keegan Bradley
The most disappointing finish on Friday was that of Australian, Marc Leishman. Leishman opened the day with four straight birdies that got him to 6 under par and a share of the lead after 22 holes of play. Over the next 14 holes he played poorly as he finished at 5 over par and missed the cut. Who says it is an easy game?
On a positive note it appears that:
- Swing changes that Rickie Fowler made in the off season are taking effect and expect good play from him for the remainder of the year. I expect him to make the Ryder Cup team along with his friend, Bubba Watson. This would be an interesting pairing
- The long hitting English born Australian citizen Oliver Goss was the low amateur which bodes well for the future of Australian golf. This was the first of many appearances at Augusta National
- Eight past champions made the cut at Augusta including Champions Tour players, Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle and Larry Mize
- Of the last 12 championships at Augusta six of them have been won by players who are left-handed
- My favorite memory of the week, 50 year old fun loving Miguel Angel Jimenez completes his Masters with a total of 4 under par and in 4th place. This finish insure that “The Mechanic” will compete at Augusta in 2015. Miguel who has an affinity for wine, women and cigars proves that you can have fun while playing golf. This should restore your faith in all of humanity.
My pick, Jason Day made the cut and finished at plus 2.
Next week I’ll continue Part Two of my bunker shots series. If you like what you see encourage your friends to visit and register for my weekly blog.