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08 April, 2012

Bubba Watson wins 2012 Masters at Augusta, narrowly beats Louis Oosthuizen on second sudden death playoff hole, Phil Mickelson fades late as Bubba takes green jacket

Bubba Watson wins 2012 Masters at Augusta, narrowly beats Louis Oosthuizen on second sudden death playoff hole, Phil Mickelson fades late as Bubba takes green jacket
BY HANK GOLA / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Bubba Watson takes home his first green jacket, holding off Louis Oosthuizen on the second playoff hole.
STREETER LECKA/GETTY IMAGES


2012 MASTERS FINAL LEADERBOARD

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Bobby Jones once said of Jack Nicklaus that he plays a game with which he wasn’t familiar.

Bobby should have met Bubba Watson. The good old boy from Bagdad, Fla., plays a game that no one else could possibly imitate.
And on Easter Sunday, on Jones’ hallowed ground, he won the Masters like no one else ever has – or probably ever could.

Watson bested Louis Oosthuizen on the second playoff hole after his pink driver put him so far in the woods, he would have needed a tick collar. But the guy who never even visualizes a straight shot must have been in his element. With a shot that is routine for him, he took a wedge, carved it out of the pine straw and bent it 151 yards, safely onto the 10th green that he couldn’t even see.

Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champ, bogeyed. Watson ended up tapping in for his par. His steely game face dissolved into tears as he put his head on his mother’s shoulder.

“I never got this far in my dreams,” Watson said as he slipped on the green jacket in Butler Cabin.

“Somehow, I’ve cried all my tears out,” he told everyone at the ceremony.

Watson, who lost in a playoff to Martin Kaymer at the 2010 PGA, birdied every hole from 13 to 16 to tie for the lead and missed a 10-footer to win on the first playoff hole. But, somehow, it wouldn’t have been right if he won so simply.

“This day means so much more than putting on this green jacket in many ways,” he said. “Somehow it fell into my hands. It’s a blur. The last nine holes I don’t remember anything.”

He and Oosthuizen both finished at 10-under 278, with Watson closing with 68 and Oosthuizen with 69. In the end, the American’s miracle shot in the playoff trumped the South African’s double eagle on No. 2, just the fourth double eagle in Masters history.
Watson said he could see the gap as he was walking toward his ball, even though he had hit his tee shot to the right of the gallery.

“I hit a crazy shot that I saw in my head and somehow I’m here talking to you with a green jacket on,” is how Watson explained it. “The first time I started working with my caddie I told him, ‘If I have a swing, I have a shot.’ I got down there and saw it was a perfect draw. I’m pretty good at hooking it.”

“I had no idea where he was,” said Oosthuiszen, who had dropped down to a 3-wood after Watson went into the woods but hit a poor shot to the right himself. “Where I stood, from where the ball came out, it looked like a curve ball. Unbelievable shot. He must have a great feel for the game. It’s great knowing you have every little shot there is. It’s really entertaining to play with him and see the shots he’s taking on, shots that I don’t even see.”

When the day began, it was supposed to belong to Phil Mickelson. At least his fourth green jacket was ready to be pressed. But Mickelson made a triple bogey on the par-3 fourth, hitting a railing in the grandstand as he tried to get it onto the left side of the green. He hit two righthanded shots, once from under the bamboo plants. No one has ever won the Masters with a triple bogey on his card. Mickelson had two this week and finished tied for third after a par-72, two shots back.

At about the same time, Oosthuizen was making his albatross on No. 2, hitting a perfect 4-iron with 210 yards to the front of the green and watching it take the slope and fall gently into the hole. Gene Sarazen, in 1935, was the only man to make an albatross in the final round and win but Oosthuizen almost had to recover from his.

“It was tough after that double eagle. When something like that happens early in the round you think this is it. It was tough the next five holes to get my head around it and just play the course,” he said.

Oosthuizen, playing in the same pairing as Watson, made some big putts on the day but barely missed a 16-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole and a 15-footer for par on the second. Each time, he bent over in disbelief.

“I don’t think I could have hit two better putts in the playoff,” he said. “I thought (the first) was in. There was no way that could stop turning. It was a cup to the right. It turned the whole way and a foot away it stopped turning. I thought it was over.”

Luckily, Watson never did.

“We always joke about Bubba golf,” he said. “I attack, I always attack. I want to hit the incredible shot, who doesn’t? I just play the game, the game that I love.”

The game that ruled Augusta National Sunday.





Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/bubba-watson-wins-2012-masters-augusta-narrowly-beats-louis-oosthuizen-sudden-death-playoff-hole-article-1.1058357#ixzz1rW4nPRT8

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