AUGUSTA, Ga. -- To hear Bubba Watson speak, he's someone from a small town in the Florida panhandle who has no business winning one green jacket at the Masters, let alone two in a three-year span.
But there Watson was once again Sunday at Augusta National with a chance to win another Masters, this time playing in the final group with 20-year-old phenom Jordan Spieth.
Watson spotted Spieth a few shots early, then picked up four strokes in a two-hole stretch midway through the round and sprinted home to become the 17th player in history to win at least two Masters.
The long-hitting Watson, 35, posted a 3-under 69 over the firm and quick course and a final score of 8-under 280 -- three shots clear of Spieth and fellow Masters rookie Jonas Blixt.
Winning two green jackets is an infrequent occurrence and surely reserves Watson's place with the greats of the golf, even if he has never taken a lesson. At least, while most people believe that, he does not.
"I got lucky enough to have two green jackets," he said. "I'm just trying to keep my tour card every year. If people say I'm a good player, that's great. But I'm not trying to play golf for a living for everybody to tell me how great I am, or that I'm one of the greats of the game.
"I play golf because I love it. The game has brought me everything that I've owned in my life. My parents taught me values through golf. That's why I played it. I love it. Every day is different."
And even though the result was a foregone conclusion when he tapped in for par at his final hole, Watson still cried when he hugged his caddie, his wife, and his 2-year-old son, Caleb.
"It's a dream to win," he said. "Winning any tournament is a big deal. Winning the green jacket is a little bit bigger deal. So yeah, I'm going to cry, because, why me? Why Bubba Watson from Bagdad, Fla.? Why is he winning?"
Sunday's drama, which is normally saved for the back nine, actually took place this time on the front nine.
Watson holed critical birdie putts at two par 3s -- Nos. 4 and 6 -- that he needed just to match Spieth's scores on the holes. When Spieth rolled in a downhill 12-footer for birdie at the seventh, he held a two-shot lead.
But a seismic shift came on the eighth, a par-5, and the par-4 ninth. Watson picked up birdies with putts of 4 and 15 feet, and Spieth carded bogeys -- a three-putt at No. 8 and a 5-foot miss at No. 9. What was a two-shot deficit had become a two-shot lead for the 2012 Masters champion.
"I felt like I was still playing solid golf," said Spieth, who posted an even-par 72. "Although there were two two-stroke swings because Bubba played them so well, I didn't feel any rush or any kind of extra tension. I still felt confident going into the back nine.
"I had it in my hands and just didn't quite make the putts and that's what it came down to."
Spieth drew a stroke closer after Watson bogeyed 10, and he had a 10-foot birdie putt that could have tied him at the 11th but didn't fall. However, at the treacherous par-3 12th, Spieth hit his tee shot into Rae's Creek and made bogey to fall two behind, and Watson's birdie at 13 made it a three-shot gap.
The margin wouldn't change as each player matched pars on the final five holes.
Watson said he told Spieth, "You're a great talent and you're going to have a lot more opportunities."
But when Watson's next opportunity came at the Masters, he pulled off another victory, even if he seemed to have trouble believing it.
"Small-town guy named Bubba now has two green jackets," he said. "It's pretty wild."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(With final round and overall scores)
Bubba Watson 69--280 -8
Jonas Blixt 71--283 -5
Jordan Spieth 72--283 -5
M.Angel Jimenez 71--284 -4
Rickie Fowler 73--286 -2
Matt Kuchar 74--286 -2
Complete scores. PAGE 7
Multiple Masters Champions
6: Jack Nicklaus (1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986)
4: Arnold Palmer (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964); Tiger Woods (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005)
3: Jimmy Demaret (1940, 1947, 1950);
Sam Snead (1949, 1952, 1954); Gary Player (1961, 1974, 1978); Nick Faldo (1989, 1990, 1996); Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, 2010)
2: Horton Smith (1934, 1936); Byron Nelson (1937, 1942); Ben Hogan (1951, 1953); Tom Watson (1977, 1981); Seve Ballesteros (1980, 1983); Ben Crenshaw (1984, 1995); Bernhard Langer (1985, 1993); Jose Maria Olazabal (1994, 1999); Bubba Watson (2012, 2014)