It may not have had the entertainment factor of the last few Masters Tournaments, but Sunday’s final round showed that Bubba Watson is just as deserving a champion in 2014 as he was in 2012. Playing partner Jordan Spieth came out of the gates firing, with birdies on four of the first seven holes, but Watson was able to keep pace with birdies of his own on the third and sixth holes. When Spieth began to falter with bogies on eight and nine, Watson pounced. Two birdies later he found himself with a two shot lead and he never faltered. After three straight pars, a two putt birdie after a monster tee shot at 13 put him ahead by three and he never looked back, making par on the final five holes for a three shot victory over Spieth and Jonas Blixt. Feisty Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez followed up his tournament-best 66 on Saturday with a 71 on Sunday to finish alone in fourth place. It was a tough day for Matt Kuchar, as one of the favorites coming into Sunday’s round, Kuchar shot a final round 74 punctuated by bogeys on 17 and 18 to drop him into a tie for fifth with Rickie Fowler. Let’s recap the 2014 Masters Tournament.
For the second time in three years, Bubba Watson gave an owner their first Major Championship win. First it was Dave in 2012, now Daniel. After an up and down start to the season, which had seen Daniel register five weeks of more than 100 points but three weeks with 0, the monster week at the Masters vaulted Daniel into first place in the Spreadsheet Fantasy standings. Lee Westwood is in the mix nearly every Major Championship, and it was no different this week as he finished alone in seventh after being unable to muster any charge on Sunday. Aussie John Senden was mulligan’d in on Friday night and was in the final pairing on Saturday, but never recovered from a third round 75 and ended up T8. Justin Rose recovered from a horrendous opening round 76 to post a top 15, as Daniel carded 335 points this week and now sits in first place.
Going into Sunday’s final round, Beast was in prime position for a monster week. Even though a Konkel’d Jason Day was struggling, Beast had three guys in the top ten, including Spieth tied for first and Kuchar just one back. He was desperately hoping this would be his breakthrough Major Championship, but no one could muster any kind of charge to challenge Bubba. Furyk dropped out of the top ten with a final round 75, but managed to hang around in the top fifteen, while Kuchar’s 74 dropped him from third into a tie for fifth. Spieth faltered midway through his round, and failed to make up any ground on the back nine, finishing in a tie as the runner-up. Despite shooting even par on the final round, Day managed to move up the leaderboard into the top 25, scoring a respectable 25 points. A wasted mulligan on Russell Henley netted Beast just 15 points, but with a total of 260 this week and sitting just 15 back of first, Beast won’t be complaining.
It’s about time something went right for James’ team this year. Eclipsing 100 points just once prior to this week, James was wallowing near the bottom of the standings, as his team has under performed badly so far. Burning two Konkels this week in a desperate attempt to get back into contention, things turned out reasonably well for the three time champion. Although three time winner and Konkel recipient Phil Mickelson missed the cut by one, James still managed to score in excess of 200 points. Rory McIlroy was haunted by a poor second round, but made the cut on the number and came back with a strong weekend to vault into the top ten, while Rickie Fowler shot a third round 67 and hung around on Sunday to finish T5. A mulligan on Louis Oosthuizen brought in 25 points, and Henrik Stenson was never in contention, but shot 70 on Sunday to jump into the top 15. The 225 point week was much needed for James, and he sits just 300 back of first place.
It looked like it would be a lost week for Fuchs, as none of his players were ever in contention, but a final round 70 from Jimmy Walker allowed him to jump into the top ten. Given Walker’s excellent start to the season, Fuchs elected to spend a Konkel on him, and it was not wasted. Brandt Snedeker and Hunter Mahan both made the cut, but neither could crack the top 25, earning 15 points a piece. Last week’s winner Matt Jones failed to make the cut in his debut at Augusta, as did Matt Every, both finishing well outside the cut line. Daniel leapfrogged Fuchs, but Fuchs passed Brent, so Fuchs remains in second place, just five points behind Daniel, but only ten points ahead of Beast.
Given Lawrence’s level of excitement over the undeniable success of one Miguel Angel Jimenez, you’d think he had a monster week. Sadly that was not the case for Lair-bear. It was a disappointing week for the third year pro, as he could muster just 90 points. He’ll undoubtedly be celebrating Miguel Angel’s Saturday charge and steady play on Sunday, but come Monday morning, a look at the standings will be a sobering reminder that he still has a ways to go. Surprisingly, Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner both missed the cut, despite both being considered favorites to contend this week. Past U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell also missed the cut, despite coming into the week in good form. The only other positive note was Ian Poulter, who managed to hang on to a top 25 despite a final round 74. Lawrence will need to rely on more than just Jimenez if he hopes to get out of the basement and make it to the podium for the first time.
This week held a lot of promise for Brent, as he entered the tournament with three former Masters champions, all in reasonably good form so far this season. In the end only Adam Scott would contribute, as Brent’s other four starters each missed the cut. Just one year ago, Brent put up a monstrous 465 points in the season’s opening Major. This year he scored just 70. His Konkel on Scott brought in his 70 points as late bogeys from the Aussie dropped him out of the top ten. Zach Johnson, Luke Donald, Charl Schwartzel and ‘top five player’ Patrick Reed all failed to play the weekend. Given his success early in the season, and the fact that he still sits a mere 45 points out of first, there’s no need for panic on Brent’s squad. However, word on the street is he’s looking to shake things up with a little wheelin’ and dealin’.
Finally we come to Bryce. Without Tiger teeing it up, it seems as though his team has lost all their mojo. Bill Haas started hot with a Thursday 68 that found him alone in the lead after the first round, but the pressure got to him and a second round 78 took him out of contention. He was able to salvage a top 25 with a final round 70, and traded places with Gary Woodland who’s 76 dropped him out of the top 25. Dustin Johnson started the season like a house on fire, but missed the cut this week after his opening 77 put him out of position. Harris English and Graeme Delaet were both making their first starts at Augusta, and neither could figure out the course, as they missed the cut as well. 40 points in a Major is a hard pill to swallow, and with Tiger’s return after surgery unknown, this could be the start of a miserable stretch for Bryce’s team. Eldrick will be receiving plenty of ‘get well soon’ cards in the coming weeks, return addressed to Morden.
I hope you all enjoyed the 2014 Masters tournament. As always it’s one of the most special times of the year, and it certainly shook up the Spreadsheet Fantasy leaderboard. In both 2010 and 2013, the winner of the Masters went on to win the Richard J. Osicki Memorial Trophy, which bodes well for Daniel to become the first rookie winner since James in 2010.