Watson Wins Masters, 1st Bulldog To Claim A Major

Men's Golf Coach Chris Haack talks about Bubba's masterful win at the Masters.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP)--- It got going with an historic shot. It ended with another.

Bubba Watson hit a miraculous hook shot from the pine straw on the 10th hole Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club and got up-and-down on the second playoff hole to beat Louis Oosthuizen and win the Masters.

Watson, a former Georgia standout, earned his first major championship title with a two-putt par on the par-4 10th hole after Oosthuizen missed a lengthy par putt that could have sent the two to a third playoff hole. Watson immediately began weeping in the arms of his caddie and later those of his mother on the 10th green. A few of his contemporaries on the PGA Tour greeted him minutes after the winning putt.

"I never really got this far in my dreams," said Watson, who lost a major in a playoff to Martin Kaymer at Whistling Straits in the 2010 PGA Championship.

Watson is the first Bulldog to win a major on the PGA Tour.

Watson had a final-round 4-under-par 68 and finished the tournament at 10-under. Oosthuizen shot a 69 in the final round.

Four players _ Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar and Peter Hanson _ finished two shots out of the playoff.

Those four lost hope of winning when Watson drained four straight birdies on the second nine with the run culminating in his short birdie putt on No. 16 to forge a tie with Oosthuizen, who made just the fourth double-eagle in Masters history earlier in the final round.

But Watson's second shot on the 10th hole in the playoff might be the one woven into Masters lore.

The left-hander sliced his tee shot on the second playoff hole into the trees lining the fairway. He had hit the shot in a similar spot earlier Sunday, and he said he had an idea of what he would need to pull off to land the ball on the green.

"The first time I ever worked with my caddie, (Ted Scott), six years ago, I told him, I said, 'If I have a swing, I've got a shot,' " Watson said. "So I'm used to the woods. I'm used to the rough."

Watson noticed the gap in the trees that he'd need to pierce as he walked toward the gallery that had already cut a path to the 10th green. Bunkers guard the front and right side of the hole named Camellia, and

Watson needed to hook his wedge shot about 40 feet from left to right to get it to the hole. He had hit a shot from the pine straw on No. 17 earlier in the round, sending the ball sky high over the trees to a spot on the 17th green. He lipped out for birdie from about 30 feet away there.

Oosthuizen also found the trees right on No. 10, but he got a favorable bounce with the ball coming out onto the second cut of rough. He was more than 200 yards away from the uphill green, and he missed short.
Watson found no such problems, cutting his wedge through the air to about 12 feet from the cup.

"Where I stood when the ball came out, it looked like a curveball going to the right," Oosthuizen said. "So I knew he had to hit a big hook. An unbelievable shot. ... That shot he hit definitely won him the tournament."

Oosthuizen chipped past the hole and just missed his par putt coming back. Watson hit his birdie putt to less than a foot, but he paused and motioned for the crowd to settle down before stepping to the putt. He said he thought of I.K. Kim, who missed a 1-foot putt on the final hole that cost her a LPGA major a week ago Sunday, and he took his time to make sure he measured the short putt and then tapped it in for the win.

Playing in the same group all day, both Oosthuizen and Watson found the 18th green in regulation and on the first playoff hole, and Watson had better looks at birdie both times. Oosthuizen just missed his birdie chances, failing to place more pressure on Watson, who in turn missed his first two chances to win the tournament.

"No putt on these greens are easy," Oosthuizen said.

Oosthuizen owned the first part of the tournament with his memorable double-eagle.

The South African holed out on the par-5 second hole from 235 yards away for the rare albatross. Oosthuizen's double-eagle _ 3 under on a single hole _ was the first on that hole in Masters history, and it was just the fourth double-eagle in tournament history and the first since 1994. Gene Sarazen made a famed double-eagle on No. 15 in 1935 _ dubbed the "shot heard 'round the world" _ that sent him to the Masters championship.

It looked for most of the day like that double-eagle would push Oosthuizen to the green jacket, as well. He took a two-shot lead following that shot as part of a four-shot swing when 54-hole leader Peter Hanson bogeyed the first hole.

Oosthuizen led for much of the day, from the shot on No. 2 until he was standing on the 15th fairway when Kuchar made an eagle putt to tie for the lead. Kuchar, a former Georgia Tech star, stayed in the lead for mere minutes thanks to a bogey on the 16th hole.

Watson, meanwhile, used the 16th hole to jump to the top of the leaderboard with an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-3 hole.

Watson and Oosthuizen's climb up the leaderboard was followed by the struggles of Hanson and Mickelson.
Hanson bogeyed two of the first three holes and finished with a 73. Mickelson shot a 72.

Mickelson, who is known for his magical shots around Augusta National, created a different kind of memory Sunday.

The three-time Masters winner carded a triple-bogey on the par-3 fourth hole. He said his tee shot hit a railing near the grandstands and shot into the woods left of the hole. He tried to hit two right-handed shots out of the woods before hitting a pitch into a bunker. He hit a great sand shot, or his score could have been worse than triple-bogey.

"If it goes into people and stops right there, no problem," Mickelson said. "If it goes into the grand stand, no problem. It hit the metal railing and shot in the trees. And not only was it unplayable, but I couldn't take an unplayable. There was no place to go other than back to the tee. So I took the risk of trying to hit it a few times."

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