Blixt falls just shy in quest for first Swedish major

Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:25pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Jonas Blixt fell short of his goal of becoming Sweden's first male winner of a major championship but showed again his ability to thrive at golf's biggest events by tying for second at the Masters.

Blessed with extraordinary touch with his chipping and putting, the 29-year-old Blixt shot a final-round 71 for his fourth successive sub-par round at Augusta to join Jordan Spieth on five-under 283, three behind winner Bubba Watson.

"It was a great day," said Blixt, a twice PGA Tour winner based in Florida. "I played decently. Hit my driver a lot better, just didn't get my approaches as close as I wanted and didn't give myself enough opportunities to make birdies.

"Bubba Watson played better. I got beat and he deserves to win. I congratulate him for that. But I learned a lot today and have a lot more new experiences and can't wait to come back," he told reporters.

Blixt, who finished fourth at last year's U.S. PGA Championship in his second crack at a major, embraces the challenge of competing at golf's most difficult tests.

"I love majors. I love it when it's tough. It's not a shootout," he said. "So the harder the better.

"The atmosphere, there are so many people here, the excitement of being here, it just adds to the experience."

Blixt began the day one stroke behind overnight co-leaders Watson and Spieth and played his own steely, steady game despite final-round pressures and posted two birdies and one bogey on the vaunted Augusta layout with its lightning-fast greens.   Continued...

Sweden's Jonas Blixt hits his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 13, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake