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Posted April 14, 2019 03:04 pm
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Watson's close call is frustrating, encouraging

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    Bubba Watson watches his tee shot during the final round of The Masters Tournament. [MICHAEL HOLAHAN/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

Bubba Watson soared up the leaderboard Sunday at the Masters and, late in the round, briefly found himself one shot off the lead.

Bogeys on the final two holes marred what was otherwise a fantastic weekend for the former University of Georgia golfer, who finished at 8-under par and in a tie for 12th after a final round 69.

“Two bogeys to finish, a little upsetting, but all-in-all a good week,” Watson said. “A top 15 at a major championship, so not too bad.”

After back-to-back even-par rounds on Thursday and Friday, Watson began making a move on Saturday by posting a 67.

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He briefly moved to 10 under on Sunday after going birdie-birdie-eagle from Nos. 13 to 15 while the leaders fell back to 11 under.

Poor tee shots at Nos. 17 and 18 put him in scrambling mode that he couldn’t overcome. The two-time Masters champion pulled his tee shot well right on 17 and laid up in an attempt to save par. 

His tee shot on 18 found a fairway bunker and his second shot nearly landed in the gallery on the left side of the green. He chipped up and two-putted for bogey.

“I take a lot out of (playing well), but gosh I’ve been struggling finishing golf tournaments,” Watson said. “I would have finished seventh in L.A. (this season) but I four-putted the last hole. Two bogeys here, would have been a top-10 with two pars. I kind of let some go, let some slide.”

Watson maneuvered Nos. 12 through 15 exceptionally well during the weekend, shooting an 8-under through those holes on Saturday and Sunday.

He birdied all four holes on Saturday and gained four strokes in the stretch on Sunday.

“If you get the wind right on 12, and you know which direction it’s going, it’s a short iron in there so you can somewhat guess right,” Watson said. “Fifteen has always been a gettable hole for everybody. On 14 we’ve just been getting the numbers just right.”

His weekend play provided optimism for Watson, who, wearing his green jacket, waited to congratulate Tiger Woods on his victory.

“The confidence is there ... just my finishes aren’t the best because they look pretty bad when you go bogey-bogey and you four-putt the last hole,” Watson said. “Other than that, there’s a couple top 10s that I let slide. But I feel good, feel energized.”