Bubba Watson's demeanor steadily improved as Masters Week went on, capped by a "very happy" Sunday.
The two-time champion shot 3-under-par 69 on the day to finish at 9-under for the tournament and in a tie for fifth with Rory McIlroy, Cameron Smith and Henrik Stenson, six shots behind winner Patrick Reed.
Watson shot 69-68 on Friday and Saturday and went 12 under since he said he began feeling more comfortable with the course after hole No. 13 on Thursday.
“I’m very happy,” Watson said of how he played over the final three days. “No. 13 on Thursday afternoon, something just clicked and then I shot three rounds in the 60s. I just felt something positive and I’ve been off and running after that.”
Watson began his final round at Augusta National at 6 under and had a pair of birdies and bogey on his front nine to reach 7 under.
He dropped back to 6 under with a bogey at No. 10, but an eagle at No. 13 pushed him up the leaderboard, and a birdie at No. 16 pushed him into the top 5.
“It was good,” Watson said. “Obviously there were a lot of good scores today. We had the roars back that we always talk about on Sunday afternoon. The wind was down so people were scoring pretty good.”
It is his best showing at a Masters that he did not win.
Watson was among the players to congratulate Reed just off the 18th green Sunday.
Watson, a University of Georgia alum, and Reed, who spent time at UGA before transferring to Augusta State, embraced, and Reed gave Watson’s son, Caleb, a high five.
“We’ve seen what a player he’s been over the years,” Watson said. “Obviously in college he was a great player, but to see his intensity week after week, I can’t do it, I don’t have the energy. I don’t have the mindset first of all, it’s pretty impressive to watch.”