Bubba Watson Wins 1st Major Championship

2011 winner Charl Schwartzel gives Bubba a hand.

The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club has always had a flair for the dramatics; the 2012 version wasn’t any different. On a cool, late afternoon in Georgia, Bubba Watson prevailed as the champion on the second playoff hole vs. South African, Louis Oosthuizen.

Bubba and Oosthuizen were in the penultimate group on the final day and started at  -6 and -7 respectively. Momentum slung heavily in Oosthuizen’s favor right out of the gates as Bubba bogeyed the first. On the par-5 2nd, Oosthuizen hit one of the best shots of the tournament as he made double-eagle by holing out from 235 yards with a four iron. It was only the the fourth double-eagle to occur in the history of the tournament, and the first to take place at the 2nd hole.  The shot jolted Oosthuizen to the top of the leaderboard. He also bogeyed the par-3 4th to finish the front -2.

Bubba made his move on the back 9, with birdies on 13,14,15, and 16 to tie him with Oosthuizen at -10 for the tournament as they headed in to sign their scorecards. The final group of Phil Mickelson and Peter Hansen weren’t able to make up enough ground and finished the tournament T3 at -8.

Bubba and Oosthuizen headed back to the 18th tee for the first playoff hole. Both players found the fairway and had good looks at birdie after hitting the green in regulation. However, neither player was able to convert and they both finished with pars.

Next, the two headed to the difficult dogleg left par-4 10th. Bubba went first with his pink driver. He attempted to hit his signature cut shot off the tee, but he pulled it severely to the right and found himself deep in the trees. Upon seeing this, Oosthuizen took the conservative approach and hit 3 wood, hoping that by finding the fairway he would be able to make par and win the tournament. However, he was not able to execute and pushed his three wood to the right and found the first cut at the top of the hill.

Oosthuizen played first. His ball came out heavy and wound up resting short of the severely sloped green. Then it was Bubba’s turn, and he played a shot that will likely go down as one of the greatest in Masters history. Deep in the woods off a pine needle lie, Bubba hit a sweeping wedge from 155 yards that hooked about 40 yards and ended up 9 feet from the pin. Oosthuizen ran his chip past the hole and had a slipperly left-to-right slider left for par that he was unable to make. From there, Bubba two-putted for par, and won the tournament.



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