As easy as it is when watching The Masters to declare a green jacket won before it gets put on, sometimes one can get away with such a wild prediction.
As Bubba Watson turned in an epic second round on Friday, he sat poised to pull away from the field on Moving Day. With so many players missing the cut, and the sizable lead, many people were already preparing to just hand Watson the green jacket.
After Saturday’s round, Watson got caught up to a few times by the rest of the field. Matt Kuchar took a run at him, as well as Jordan Spieth and at a few points, Jonas Blixt. Complicating matters was Watson either getting rattled by his bogey on the first hole, or by seeing the rest of the field sneaking up.
Watson was touch-and-go most of his round, as a number of misjudged shots and poor strategies created some rough situations in and around the greens. He did falter at some points, but he didn’t exactly implode. Despite the bogies, and other missteps — he was still playing his own game, and didn’t allow anyone to really threaten his position too badly — finishing the day sharing the lead with Spieth.
Spieth is to be commended on his birdie-filled round, keeping Watson and the rest of the field honest. The snag there is that he was creeping. It’s not like he came out and tore the course apart. He steadily crept up on Watson. While this works as a great tactic on a lot of other golfers, Watson is not the kind of golfer who can be brought down that way.
The moves up the leaderboard are nice and all, but Watson has that amazing habit of hitting the point of saying “this has gone on long enough” and takes matters into his own hands. Watson has the ability, concentration, mental game and clutch abilities to walk onto the course Sunday morning and embarrass everyone. Furthermore, he’s still sharing the lead. It’s not like he dropped six places.
Should Watson find that mental place before the final round where he can regroup and come back out with guns blazing, his second green jacket is a lock.