(CNN) -- Bubba Watson turned on the style to win his second U.S. Masters title in three years after a final round 69 gave him a three-shot victory in the opening major of the 2014 season.
Watson briefly trailed his last day playing partner Jordan Spieth before pulling clear on the back nine at Augusta to repeat his 2012 triumph with an eight-under-par total of 280.
The 20-year-old Spieth finished in a tie for second at five-under with Sweden's Jonas Blixt, who was also making a superb debut at the Masters.
Popular 50-year-old Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez claimed fourth place a further shot behind after a closing 71.
Watson did not panic when Spieth moved two clear on the front nine and a four-shot swing on the eighth and ninth saw him take a lead he never relinquished.
His victory was highlighted by a monster 366-yard drive on the 13th to set up a two-putt birdie and a three-shot advantage going into the closing holes.
The chasers were unable to make a sustained challenge to leave the 35-year-old Watson to savor another triumph in the 78th edition of the famous tournament.
After putting out on the 18th green an emotional Watson burst into tears before embracing family members.
"I don't remember the last few I holes, I just remember hanging on to make pars," he said before donning the Green Jacket for the second time in the traditional ceremony.
Watson has been in fine form on the PGA Tour leading into the Masters, claiming the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles in February -- his fifth career win and first since his initial triumph at Augusta.
The pre-tournament talk was of Tiger Woods' withdrawal through injury and of Adam Scott's chances of a repeat triumph, the Australian eventually finishing a creditable one-over-par in his title defense.
But Watson sprung to prominence with a second round 68 with a run of five straight birdies to show his intent, his eventual victory taking him into the top five of the new world rankings.
"The first one I felt I lucked into," he admitted. "A lot of hard work and determination went into this one," he added.
A host of golfers eyed victory on a tight leader board going into the final round, but the likes of Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler were unable to threaten Watson and the American pair finished tied for fifth on two-under, a shot ahead of England's Lee Westwood.
Pre-tournament favorite Rory McIlroy finished strongly with a three-under 69 for level par, but his hopes were ended by a poor second round.