Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on Bubba Watson's second Masters victory in three years, what it means for him going forward and how tough scoring conditions this week could affect the future setup of Augusta National.
Never overlook Bubba Watson here at the Masters. Never. I did this year and am not sure why. When he won at the Northern Trust Open he jumped on an early Masters favorites list. But somehow, at least to me, when he withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational I erased him from my mind as a contender altogether. I was focused mostly on Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar. Never again. Doesn’t matter how he plays prior to this tournament, his booming drives and ridiculous shot-making ability will give him a chance to win more green jackets over the next eight years. Scary thought. – Jay Coffin
The cliché is, "the Masters doesn’t really begin until the back nine on Sunday." So the most disappointing part of this year’s Masters was just how dull it was on the back nine Sunday. That’s the exact opposite of how it’s supposed to go. The tournament is supposed to be set up for great television — birdies, eagles, water splashes, thrilling charges, epic collapses — but we got none of that. Bubba Watson shot par on the back nine and won easily. Nobody came close to making a run at him.
His challengers — Jordan Spieth (1 over), Jonas Blixt (1 under) and Matt Kuchar (1 over) could not do ANYTHING interesting on the back.
The tournament committee has to think about this. There were just three eagles on No. 13 (none by contenders), zero eagles on No. 15, only a couple of balls in the water on No. 12 and then nothing too exciting at the usually thrilling holes like 11 or 16. It was just blah all the way around — Blixt would say, simply, “I didn’t feel like I got it close enough to the pins in order to make that many birdies.” There have been so many changes at Augusta the last few years, many of them necessary with the evolving equipment and talent of golfers. But I think they made it too hard this week. The thrill was gone. – Joe Posnanski
Bubba Golf, in all its unique quirkiness, is better than the sum of its parts. Say what you will about the two-time Masters champion, his victory lap on Sunday at Augusta National was textbook. For the week, Watson finished first in driving distance (shocking, right?), 13th in greens in regulation and 12th in putts per green in regulation. His high-flying game has already produced two victories in 2014, as well as two runner-up showings, and virtually assured him a spot on this year’s Ryder Cup team. He may not be the most orthodox player, either in form or fashion, but the days of doubting his resolve are over. – Rex Hoggard
We’re going to find out a lot more about Jordan Spieth during the next three major championships. Prior to a runner-up finish in his first Masters appearance, the 20-year-old was saddled only with his own expectations, not those of everyone else. Now the hype machine is going to be set to full power. All eyes will be on Spieth at Pinehurst and Hoylake and Valhalla, because in a game that desperately yearns for a youthful new superstar, he fits the bill. Indications are that he can handle the pressure - this is a kid who’s been immune to any bravado. The intensity of the spotlight will only shine brighter going forward, though. He’s handled everything in his career with an unusually mature attitude so far, but it’s only going to get more difficult from here. – Jason Sobel