Blixt eyes major success
Sweden's Jonas Blixt cannot wait for his next shot at major championship glory after finishing second to Bubba Watson in the 78th Masters.
Blixt, who finished fourth in the US PGA Championship last August, carded a closing 71 for his fourth sub-par round of the week at Augusta National, although he was never able to apply enough pressure to Watson.
"I'm kind of lost for words here," said Blixt, who finished alongside 20-year-old American Jordan Spieth on five under par, three behind the winner. "It was a great day. 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.
"Overall a decent round and when you shoot under par at Augusta National on a Sunday, you should be pretty happy. Bubba Watson played better, I got beat and he deserves to win. I congratulate him for that but I learned a lot and have a lot more new experiences and can't wait to come back.
"I don't feel like the moment really got to me, but there were a couple of swings there that were a little quick and I just didn't execute it as good as I wanted to."
Europe's last winner at Augusta remains Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999 and although his fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez was fourth, the 50-year-old never threatened to become the oldest major champion ever after a front nine of 38 on Sunday.
"I was playing very well, playing very solid all the week," said Jimenez, who will make his Champions Tour debut this week. "Today my putting is a little bit too cold.
"I'm going to play only next week (on the seniors tour). I plan to focus myself for the Ryder Cup and I need to play on the European Tour for that. I would like to help Europe defend the Ryder Cup. I would love to do that."
Lee Westwood finished seventh after also paying for a slow start, the 40-year-old playing the first four holes in three over.
"It's a little bit disappointing but seventh is my best result this year and the work I am doing with my coach Mike Walker is taking me in the right direction," Westwood said. "The Masters probably came a couple of weeks too early."
Rory McIlroy's previous best finish at Augusta was joint 15th in 2011, when he led by four shots going into the final round before collapsing to a closing 80.
But the 24-year-old was again left wondering what might have been if not for a second round of 77, a closing 69 giving him a share of eighth with 56-year-old Bernhard Langer.
"I don't think I've ever played as good tee to green around this course as I have this week. I just need to take some more chances that I've given myself on the greens," McIlroy said.
"I finished even par on the par fives this week and even for the tournament and that's not good enough. You are looking to play them in 10 or 12 under and that would be good enough to win."