The two were tied going into the day. Spieth immediately went up two by the third hole. On the par-3 fourth came what was surely a Spieth spear through the heart -- a hole-out from the bunker for a birdie. Except Bubba matched his miracle with a big-stone birdie of his own.
On the par-3 sixth, Spieth bared his teeth again, hitting it to kick-in distance. Except Bubba matched it with a sensational two of his own.
"Very big," Bubba admitted.
Then Bubba had some daggers of his own -- birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 compared to Spieth's two bogeys. As he walked off the ninth green, Bubba and his buttoned-up collar had buttoned up a 2-shot lead that would hold up the rest of the day, despite Bubba's attempts to give it away on 15.
Guess it's true what they say: The Masters ends on the front nine Sunday.
"That was some incredible golf he played," Spieth admitted.
"Bubba kept taking every punch we threw at him," Geller said afterward, rubbing his forehead. "That's why he's Bubba."
Which is weird for a guy who took the last green jacket he won, in 2012, and cocooned himself away. He didn't win a single tournament from that moment through the rest of that year and all of 2013.
"Winning a green jacket and adopting a baby [a week before the 2012 Masters], it was a lot to deal with," Bubba said.
But this offseason, Bubba's pastor, Judah Smith of Seattle, suggested he read Philippians 4:11: "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."
Smith told him, "As a kid, you dreamed about playing on the PGA Tour. You dreamed about playing in the Masters. You're doing that. Why don't you just go ahead and rejoice in the circumstances of your life?"
And so it was -- as he stepped to the 18th tee box Sunday -- that the circumstances of Bubba Watson was very content indeed. His second 44 Long was a lock. He belted a pink-striped 4-wood an ungodly distance, right down the sprinkler line.
His caddy turned to him and said, "Are you from Mars?"
No, he's from Bagdad, Fla., where pink-and-green jackets bloom like azaelas.