Sunday's Birdies and Bogeys

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Sunday's Birdies and Bogeys

April 12, 2014

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Birdie: Bubba Watson

There was so much to marvel at Sunday -- the brute power, the creative flourishes, the bold (or was it careless?) play even with a win seemingly in hand. There is nothing boring about the way Bubba plays golf, even on a back nine on Sunday when he took all the suspense out of the Masters. Two years after his breakthrough win here, Watson didn't need any heroic shots out of the trees to win. He instead found a way to apply pressure on his young playing partner at the most crucial moments. We already knew about Watson's raw talent. Sunday was also a testament to his resilience.-- *Sam WeinmanFollow: @SamWeinman

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Birdie: Jordan Spieth

A shaky back nine kept Spieth from having a historic week, but during several moments of the final round he still showed why he is poised to be golf's next superstar. He took the lead with a birdie on No. 2, then holed an improbable bunker shot at No. 4. He maintained the lead with a brilliant tee shot to a couple feet on No. 6 and showed guts when he got up-and-down for bogey after finding Rae's Creek on No. 12. Spieth couldn't win the Masters in his first try, but after this performance, it's safe to say he'll have a few more chances at a green jacket.-- *Alex MyersFollow: @AlexMyers3

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Bogey: Jordan Spieth's body language

A little more than a year removed from his sophomore year in college, Spieth should be afforded some latitude when under major-championship pressure. Still, there were moments when the 20-year-old Spieth looked, well, 20. His hand flew off the club on errant drives. He jammed his club into the turf when he found the bunker on the par-4 10th. He owned up to his frustrations in post-round interviews, and for a kid who looks to be one of the game's next big stars, these were minor transgressions. Here's hoping they don't grow into anything more than that. -- S.W.

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Bogey: Matt Kuchar's driving

When Kuchar starts feeling the nerves, it's less about the putter and more about the driver. His driver probably cost him the two tournaments leading up to the Masters, and once the pressure cranked up this Sunday, it was Kuchar's driver again that failed him. After hitting all 14 fairways Saturday, Kuchar hit just six fairways Sunday. His short game was constantly bailing him out, helping him save par when he should have been pressing for birdie.-- *Luke Kerr-DineenFollow: @LukeKerrDineen

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Birdie: Jonas Blixt

Four straight sub-par rounds, including a Sunday 71, is probably more than Blixt could have asked for in his first appearance at Augusta National. Same with a T-2 finish, the best by a Masters rookie since Jason Day in 2011. The Swede was steady throughout the final round, shooting a first-nine 36 to keep him in striking distance of Watson and Spieth. He couldn't build on the birdie he made on the 13th, but his pars down the stretch left him proudly able to walk away from Augusta with a smile on his face.-- *Ryan HerringtonFollow: @GWcampusinsider

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Birdie: Rory McIlroy

After chopping it up on Friday and then losing to an Augusta member on Saturday, McIlroy enjoyed a brief run up the leader board on Sunday, when he got it to as low as three under through 12 holes. A bogey on the 13th derailed his momentum, but a three-under 69 was still an encouraging finish for McIlroy with three majors remaining in 2014. -- S.W.

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Bogey: Rory McIlroy

Save for one rotten nine-hole stretch on Friday, McIlroy actually had a decent week. But that's golf, and right now, McIlroy hasn't shown the ability to gut it out when he's not at his best. We already know what McIlroy can do when he's on his game. Proving he can manage a decent score when he isn't is what's preventing him from greatness. -- S.W.

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Birdie: Fred Couples

At some point, this has to end. Right? Couples, 54, put himself in the top 10 entering the weekend for a fifth straight year, and on Sunday he birdied the first two holes to climb within two of the lead. The 1992 champ faded after that, but his presence gave a nice jolt to a tournament missing its two biggest stars -- Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson -- on the weekend for the first time in 20 years. Earlier in the week, Couples' buddy Jim Nantz said he plans to announce the Masters through 2035. Maybe by then Freddie won't be contending for a green jacket. Maybe. -- A.M.

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Bogey: Lee Westwood

The 40-year-old Englishman was lurking just three shots back entering Sunday's final round, a good spot in that it was close enough to the lead to make things interesting without having much pressure on himself. But Westwood couldn't get anything going, making bogey on No. 3 and double bogey on No. 4 to turn in two-over 38. His back nine was better (he shot one-under 35), but it was too little, too late for anything except a back-door top 10, extending his streak to five straight years of finishing T-11 or better at Augusta National. That's not bad, but it's not the result the man without a major really wanted. -- R.H.

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Birdie: Fuzzy Zoeller

You can't have a Masters without repeated references to Zoeller being the last Masters rookie to claim the green jacket -- a mark that seemed in jeopardy through the first seven holes on Sunday. Then, over the last 11 holes, came reaffirmation of what made Zoeller's win in 1979 so remarkable. As impressive as it was to see Jordan Spieth navigate Augusta National so expertly, there were still enough lapses to cost him a green jacket. Plenty of veteran players make the same mistakes, but it seems they're unavoidable your first time around. -- S.W.

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