Notes: Langer lingers longer; Watson's approach
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Bernhard Langer won his first green jacket in 1985 and then again in 1993.
At 56, Langer continues to play at the Masters, but has not really had a chance to win or even record a top-10 until Sunday, when the Champions Tour stalwart shot a final round 3-under 69 and finished T-8 with Jimmy Walker, Rory McIlroy, John Senden, Kevin Stadler and Thomas Bjorn.
“My game has been good, even when I missed a cut,” Langer said of his first round breaking 70 since 2004. “I've had some very good rounds here; I just had one round where I messed up, and it's easily done here. It doesn't take much, a couple of inches, to decide between a birdie and a bogey here. That's the type of golf course we're facing.”
In making his 23rd cut, Langer tied Billy Casper and Arnold Palmer for seventh on the cuts-made list, 14 behind Jack Nicklaus at 37.
Langer is far from the oldest player to make a cut. That's Tommy Aaron at 63.
But for Langer none of that mattered Sunday.
“Yes, I think it's a statement, yeah,” Langer said. “There's a lot of good over‑50 players. We can compete at the highest level and even on a very, very long golf course like this one.”
PHOTOS: Bubba Watson, 2014 Masters champion
Check out photos of the 2014 Masters champion Bubba Watson from Augusta National.
• • •
PAST CHAMP'S TAKE: Nick Faldo has a little history around Augusta National, with three green jackets in his locker hanging in the Champions Locker room.
Seeing what he saw covering the Masters for CBS this weekend, Faldo believes that Bubba Watson’s weekend success was primarily because of a solid driving performance and of course a couple of lucky breaks.
“Today he drove it really well,” Faldo said after Watson’s three-shot victory. “Probably a little nervy, but generally drove really well and when he got to 13 it was a joke. It fell out of the tree 60 yards.”
Faldo agreed that the turning point was the eighth and ninth holes, where Watson went from two shots down to two shots up because a combination of birdies and bogeys between himself and Spieth.
The Englishman also marveled at the combinations of twos both players made on the par-3 4th and 6th holes.
But in the end, Faldo admired Watson’s ability to keep everyone at bay Sunday.
“I said yesterday, when I remember when Tiger had 9‑iron into 15 and suddenly the golf course became 600 yards longer,” Faldo said of Watson’s advantage. “And now it's Bubba the one who can hit it that far. So he has a distinct advantage being able to cut the corners and having 7s and 5‑irons into whatever he hit there on the eighth hole.”
In the end, though, Faldo liked Watson’s lag-putting ability. A stat that doesn’t really exist.
“Didn't realize that,” Faldo said of Watson’s lag-putting prowess. “We have seen his stroke, his stroke at times is awkward, feet moving, head is moving before the putter, etc., to the ball. But they go in. He has this attitude that as I said, doesn't matter how he does it, what it looks like, it just is what's the score on the scorecard.”
PHOTOS: 2014 Masters Fashion, Sunday
Fashion from the Sunday's final round of the 2014 Masters at Augusta National.
• • •
AUSSIE INVITED BACK: Winning is not always everything. Australian John Senden came to win the Masters, but it didn’t happen. Instead the consolation prize was a guaranteed date back at Augusta National next April, no matter what happens the rest of the 2014 season.
Finishing T-8, Senden is invited back and he couldn’t be happier.
“It's one thing to come here and want to win the golf tournament and a green jacket,” Senden said. “I saw Adam Scott do it last year and it was fantastic; it gave us all inspiration. We look up to Adam still. Now that he did open the door last year, with the Aussies, with the momentum coming in here, it was right there for us, really. I thought we were all playing well. It was just a matter of just going for it. Also finishing off (in the) top 10 and coming back next year, I mean, it's great. I can't be more happy.”
One of the best ball strikers in golf, Senden struggles on the greens at times. So to come out of the Masters, where the green speeds are diabolical, only gives Senden confidence for the remaining three majors.
“I would be silly not to go away from here thinking that I would feel the same,” Senden said of feeling more confidence leaving Augusta than coming in. “Top‑10 finish and being in contention, playing in the last group gives me the utmost greatest experience. Knowing that, OK, well, if I get into the final group again next year, well I'll hopefully handle it better.”
• • •
WHAT ELSE DOES BUBBA GET? Bubba Watson walked away with his second green jacket, but that just part of what the Masters champion will take home after his three-shot victory Sunday.
Watson will also get a sterling silver replica of the Masters trophy and a golf medal.
Because of his 68 was the low score in Friday’s second round, Watson will receive a crystal vase.
A pair of crystal highball glasses are what Watson will receive for his eagle at No. 2 during Saturday's third round.
And of course a check for $1,620,000. Not a bad four days' work.
Golfweek.com readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.