Having recommended Bubba Watson as one of my picks and backed him at a juicy 25-1, I was delighted and he was a worthy winner. With his left-to-right fade, prodigious hitting and ability to conjure shots, he had all the elements in his bag to win. He is more Seve than Tiger and will prove a popular winner for the second time in three years.
Jordan Spieth at 20 advanced his case of being the best of the new generation of young Americans, finishing above his peers Gary Woodland and Billy Herschol. He has won one classic – the John Deere – and was runner up in a major too, despite his tender years. I did think, after Bubba carded + 2 in the third round when his putting confidence went on the glass greens, that either Spieth or Matt Kuchar might overhaul him but he found renewed confidence. One drive was measured at a staggering 366 yards. He also played intelligently to close out with pars his three-shot lead.
He seems an engaging character with his adopted child, bullet-proof truck and tendency to wear his emotions on his sleeve, though this time there were no tears in his measured acceptance speech, which he had perhaps been rehearsing for 4 rounds.
Of the Europeans, the oldest swinger in town Miguel Jimenez looking more ageing rocker had a fine tourney, whilst the consistent Jonas Blixt did his Ryder Cup chances no harm with a consistent 4 rounds.
The TV coverage was bizarre with no live feed till 7 pm, thus it was that you could only watch film of Gentle Ben Crenshaw or Lyle ‘s victories when Watson and later Woodland, who at one stage was -7, were playing exciting golf which the viewer never saw. The crowd as ever was immaculately behaved. One senses they are deeply respectful of the game and the course looked marvellous. Clever pin placement made it a tougher test than in recent years and that is how it should be.