AUGUSTA, Ga. - Walking up the eighth fairway, with momentum definitely against him and the Masters slipping away, Bubba Watson still had time for an animated, friendly chat with the kid who was beating him. No hard feelings about the kid having jokingly threatened to call him "Mr. Watson." By the time they were done with that hole and the next, Watson could have been called Mr. Golf.
Watson always goes his own way and creates his own story. This time, he put himself on a whole new level by earning his second green jacket Sunday. On the eighth and ninth holes, he turned a two-stroke deficit to Jordan Spieth into a two-stroke lead and kept on going for a three-shot win and the Masters title.
"It's overwhelming, you know, to win twice," he said after he shot 3-under-par 69 to finish at 8 under to beat Spieth (72) and Jonas Blixt (71) who finished tied for second at 5 under. "A small-town guy named Bubba now has two green jackets. It's pretty wild."
Yes, he is on a first-name basis with this event and with the entire sport. No one actually would call him Mr. Golf. Too formal. The key phrase at Augusta National on Sunday was Bubba Golf. That refers to a unique style: Unimaginably long drives, daring shots, solid putting and lively repartee. Spieth said that their caddies are such close friends that there was joking going on all day about each rooting for the other's boss.
Bubba Golf also is rich with emotion, witnessed by the tears Watson shed at the sight of his 2-year-old son, Caleb, after the final putt dropped. Two years ago, Watson also welled up at the thought of his wife, Angie, and their then-newly adopted son, watching at home as he won a Masters playoff with a wild shot out of the trees on No. 10.
"The shot out of the woods made me famous, but this one was a lot better for me and my nerves, my family and probably Teddy," Watson said, referring to caddie Ted Scott.
In the end, the Masters that had no Tiger Woods (back surgery), no Eisenhower Tree (ice storm) and two days of no Phil Mickelson (missed cut) had no drama. Watson did give back a stroke with a bogey on No. 10, but once Spieth hit into the water on the par-3 12th, it was no contest.
"Eight and nine were really the turning point, where the momentum kind of went my way," Watson said. "There weren't too many birdies after No. 10, I don't think."
On No. 8, Watson hit a 5-iron over the green, chipped up and birdied, to Spieth's bogey. On the ninth hole, Watson hit a sand wedge and made another birdie. Spieth again bogeyed.
Starting the day tied for the lead with Watson, Spieth went up by two after he birdied the second and Watson made bogey on three. Spieth holed a sand shot for birdie on the par-3 fourth, then Watson made his birdie putt to stay within two. After he made bogey on the fifth, Spieth knocked it stiff on the sixth for sure birdie, but Watson made his birdie putt first.
Then there was Watson's tee shot on the par-5 13th. "I'll never forget," Spieth said. "I thought it was out of bounds 70 yards left, and it's perfect." When told that Watson got a good bounce off a tree, the younger man said, "Well, that's his day, I guess . . . Ultimately, hats off to him."
Even with a three-stroke lead, Watson tried -- and succeeded -- with a 196-yard punched 6-iron out of the trees on No. 15. "It's Bubba Golf," Scott said.
That has put the 35-year-old in a rare place at a time when many players are unable to win a second major after having supposedly "broken through" with one. A bunch of them -- such as Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson and Charl Schwartzel -- missed the cut here.
"I just got lucky enough to have two green jackets," Watson said. "I'm just trying to keep my tour card every year."
He is well above that now. He has an honored place here forever. "This place suits him quite well," said his close friend Rickie Fowler, who finished tied for fifth. "There's no one else who can play the way he does. It's Bubba Golf."