|By Kevin Currie, Senior Golf Editor|
Augusta, GA (Sports Network) - In just his fifth major championship start, Jordan Spieth showed that he can keep up with the best in the world.
History was not on his side heading into the final round at the Augusta as just three other players had won the Masters in their first trip around the hallowed venue.
Additionally, Spieth and Jonas Blixt had started the Masters with three straight sub-par rounds. Blixt made it four in a row to join Fuzzy Zoeller as the only two to turn that trick, but Spieth was unable to match them.
Spieth had four birdies and a bogey in the first seven holes to seemingly take control of the tournament. However, he bogeyed three of five holes from the eighth, and it was Bubba Watson from there.
Spieth had made the cut in two of his previous four major appearances, and a tie for 21st at the 2012 U.S. Open was his best finish before this.
Seven of his 16 rounds in majors have been of par or better, two of which came as an amateur at the 2012 U.S. Open.
Spieth led the field in greens in regulation this week, as he hit 53 of 72 greens. He tied for 13th with Watson and four others in driving accuracy (40 of 56 fairways).
Numbers like that add up to major championship titles. He fell just short this week, but there are plenty more majors in his future.
SENIORS HAVE BIG WEEK
At the start of the week, no one could have known that three players that are Champions Tour eligible would play this well at the Masters.
Everyone knows that Fred Couples is going to linger around the leaderboard for at least the first few rounds. He stumbled to a 75 in the final round and dropped into a share of 20th.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, who is scheduled to make his Champions Tour debut this week, fired a 66 in the third round, and that stood as the low round of the tournament.
The Spaniard managed a 71 in the final round to take fourth place.
Also making his mark was two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer. He closed with a 3-under 69 to share eighth place at even-par 288.
Experience is a big thing at Augusta, and these three clearly have that on their side.
GOSS STRUGGLES IN FINAL ROUND
Oliver Goss had a weekend he'll remember the rest of his life. He turned 20 on Saturday, and was the only amateur to make the cut at the Masters.
He earned a sterling silver cup as the low amateur for the tournament.
Goss stumbled to four bogeys in his first nine holes Sunday and never recovered. He posted eight pars and a lone birdie of the back nine.
For the week, Goss played the front nine in 9-over par, while ending the tournament at 10-over par.
No matter what he ended in 49th place at the season's first major. Goss was the low amateur and had the experience of a lifetime.
* Bubba Watson earned $1.62 million for winning the title, up from $1.44 million last year. The total purse was raised from $8 million to $9 million.
* Watson was the first 54-hole leader to win the Masters since Angel Cabrera in 2009.
* Adam Scott, the 2013 winner, closed with an even-par 72 to finish in a tie for 14th at 1-over 289.
* Six of the last 12 Masters champions have been left-handers (Phil Mickelson - 3, Mike Weir - 1 and Watson - 2).
* No Swede has ever won a men's major championship. Jonas Blixt became the fourth Swede to finish second in a major.
* Lee Westwood has finished inside the top 15 in each of the last five Masters.
* There were 98 birdies and 84 bogeys on Sunday as the field averaged 72.80 strokes. That was the lowest amount of birdies and bogeys for any of the four rounds.
* The easiest hole in the final round was the par-5 13th, which played to an average of 4.45 strokes. For the week, the 13th was the easiest as it averaged 4.70 strokes.
* The hardest hole on Sunday was the par-3 fourth. It yielded four birdies in the final round as the field played the hole to an average of 3.47 shots. The par-4 11th was most difficult hole for the week as players averaged 4.48 strokes on that hole.
* The next major is the U.S. Open Championship, June 12-15. Justin Rose will defend his title at Pinehurst No. 2.