AUGUSTA, Ga. —
Watson birdied both holes, by the way. Just like that, Spieth’s two-shot lead was a two-shot deficit.
“I was 3 under through the first seven,” Spieth said, shaking his head as he remembered the giddiness he felt just a couple of hours earlier. “If you had told me that when I woke up this morning, I would have thought it would be difficult for me not to win this golf tournament.”
Spieth trailed the rest of the way, pretty much finished off by his tee shot at No. 12 that trickled into Rae’s Creek and Watson’s booming drive at the 13th that sliced around the trees, perilously close to calamity, and came to a rest 360 yards away, setting up an easy two-putt birdie while Spieth was making a par he couldn’t afford.
“I’m very, very pleased with the way I played,” said Spieth, who shot an even-par 72 that was his worst score of the week. “But the only thing I’m thinking about is getting back here next year. That is what’s on my mind.”
Watson closed with a 69 for an 8-under 280 total.
Blixt, also a Masters rookie, shot 71 for the third day in a row but couldn’t sink enough putts to make a serious run.
“I just didn’t get the approaches as close as I wanted,” Blixt said. “I did not give myself enough opportunities to make birdies.”
No Swedish man has ever won a major, and Blixt is certainly mindful of that drought.
“I’d love to be the first one,” he said. “I hope that curse can end soon. I will do as much as I can and work hard as I can to end it.”
Spieth is eager to get back to work, too.
While he figures to have plenty of opportunities to get a major title of his own, this one felt like an opportunity squandered.