After Further Review: Bubba Golf built for Augusta

By Jay CoffinApril 14, 2014, 2:00 am

Each week, 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

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DEFCON Tiger: Woods' Saturday lights Twitter ablaze

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 22, 2018, 8:15 pm

Tiger Woods grabbed the Tour Championship lead and the sports world by the throat Saturday, making birdie on six of his first seven holes in his third round and sending social media into a frenzy.

Here's a sampling from athletes, journalists and celebrtiies, and we'll start with two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry.

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Lewis fires 61, two behind Herbert in Portugal

By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 8:13 pm

VILAMOURA, Portugal – Tom Lewis came within two shots of tying English countryman Oliver Fisher's European Tour record on another day of low scoring at the Portugal Masters on Saturday.

Lewis returned a 10-under 61 in the third round, just 24 hours after Fisher carded the first 59 on the circuit. Lewis moved to two strokes behind leader Lucas Herbert of Australia.

Lewis acknowledged the thought of another 59 crept into his mind: ''It's something I noticed with three holes to go. I wasn't that bothered at the end of the day.

''I'm pleased that I shot 10 under par. I can only continue to make birdies and see what happens tomorrow.''

Herbert, who is playing off invites this season as he looks to earn his full tour playing privileges, shot a 64 for a 19-under total of 194.

Fisher took 10 more strokes than he did on Friday and was in a group on 14-under 199.

Sergio Garcia of Spain, trying to find form ahead of next week's Ryder Cup, was on 204 after a 68.

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 22, 2018, 7:25 pm

After grinding out a 68 on Friday, Tiger Woods is trying to get the lead all to himself in Round 3 at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him.

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Highlights: Tiger's seven Saturday birdies so far

By Nick MentaSeptember 22, 2018, 7:08 pm

Tiger Woods entered Saturday tied atop the board and wasted little time taking the outright lead at East Lake.

Woods moved clear of the field with this birdie at No. 1, whipping the Atlanta crowd into an early frenzy.

Following a 4-foot par save at the second, Woods moved ahead by two and reached 9 under par when he played this approach from 144 and sank this 8-footer for birdie at the third.

One hole later, Woods reached double digits at 10 under par when he poured in a bending 21-footer that just crept over the lip.

He made it four birdies in his first five holes when he bombed a 320-yard drive, wedged to 7 feet, and converted again.

He looked in danger of not capitalizing on his first crack at a par-5 after he came out of a fairway wood on his second shot, but a splash from the bunker and a make from 6 feet gave him his fifth circle in six holes.

He went Vintage Tiger at the seventh, playing this fairway bunker shot from 172 yards to 5 feet, setting up his sixth birdie in his first seven holes and advancing him to 13 under, five clear.

Looking to make the turn in 29, Woods instead missed the green at the par-3 ninth, failed to get up and down for par, and had to settle for 5-under 30.

Following pars at 10 and 11, he started looking this approach up and down at the 12th, leading to his seventh birdie of the day.

Woods saw his lead decrease from five to three when he bogeyed the par-4 16th and Rose birdied. Woods missed the fairway and green and then failed to pull off an aggressive flop shot up a steep slope.