Masters 2012 Results: Bubba Watson Earns His First Green Jacket
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Bubba Watson defeated Louis Oosthuizen in a two-hole sudden-death playoff to win the 76th edition of the Masters tournament and his first career major title.
Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood and Peter Hanson finished tied for third at eight-under.
Mickelson shot himself out of competition when he made a triple-bogey early on the fourth hole. From there on he was playing catch-up and while he had plenty of chances, he couldn't capitalize on them.
Kuchar tied Oosthuizen for the lead at nine-under with an eagle on the 15th hole. But then found trouble off the tee on the 16th hole when his chip back fell too long and he missed the par-saving putt from 12 feet away to hand Oosthuizen the lead.
Westwood also had a chance at an eagle on the 15th hole to tie Oosthuizen at nine-under, but missed the putt less than an inch from the cup.
Hanson, who started the day leading by one shot, got in trouble with two bogeys in the first three holes. From there on just like Mickelson he was playing catch-up the rest of the way.
The odds-on tournament favorites, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, finished a disappointing T40 at five-over.
Oosthuizen seized the lead right on the second hole when he made just the fourth double eagle in Masters tournament history and the first on the second hole.
The action remained static during the better part of the round, but then started heating up on the second half of the back-nine today.
On the 16th hole Watson was at nine-under, one shot behind Oosthuizen. hit a marvelous tee shot that landed just eight feet for birdie and the chance to tie Oosthuizen.
Oosthuizen missed his chance to add to the lead with his putt for birdie from 25 feet away and it would prove costly.
Then shortly after, the crowd went nuts when Watson holed the putt to tie Oosthuizen for the lead at 10-under. The energy on the course was at its peak.
They par the 17th hole and headed for the 18th hole, the most difficult hole on the course, tied for the lead and two shots clear of Westwood, Kuchar and Mickelson.
Both Oostzhuizen and Watson uncorked monster drives on the 18th right down the middle of the fairway. It was incredible the poise and confidence both were exhibiting, they were unflappable.
Oosthuizen opened the door for Watson when his approach shot went over the ridge on the top part of the green leaving himself with a tough two-putt.
Watson's approach shot was to the right of the hole, but leveled with the hole. He had the edge here and as they approached the green the crowd let them know how they felt with the big roars.
Oosthuizen made a terrific putt that tracked the hole, but went past the hole about three feet. This left Watson with his putt to essentially take the outright lead and the tension was mounting, could he do it?
Watson's putt for birdie went just right of the hole and missed by just a foot. He then made the tap-in for par and along with Oosthuizen who made his for par, entered the clubhouse tied for the lead at 10-under and would go an extra hole for the Masters title.
This was the 15th sudden-death playoff in tournament history and it was an electrifying one.
They were back to the 18th hole for their first playoff hole, and they both hit sensational approach shots.
Oosthuizen left his about 15 feet from to the right side of the hole, and Watson went one better and left his inside 10 feet to the right and hole high.
Oosthuizen went first with his putt for birdie and just misses to the right rim of the cup, so close everyone thought it was going in.
Watson then had the putt for the win and his first major title. But he missed it just to the left rim of the cup.
They had to go the second hole and that was the ever-so-dangerous 10th hole. Both found the trees on the right side off the tee.
Oostzhuizen's ball somehow managed to be on the rough after it bounced from the trees. Watson wasn't so lucky and had to shoot from between the Magnolias.
Advantage Oosthuizen right? Not quite.
Oosthuizen's approach shot was short of the green on the slope, while Watson was able to play a hooking shot that thanks to his length reached the green.
Outstanding shot by Watson.
Oosthuizen came up long with his third shot and missed barely his putt for par. This opened the door for Watson to win the Masters with a two-putt.
And Watson did. He tried safely with his first putt just to get near the hole and then made the short six-inch tap-in par-putt for his first major title.
A very emotional win for the former Georgia Bulldog who embraced and celebrated with his mom in the middle of the green.
A lot of his closest pals went to the green, Aaron Baddeley, Rickie Fowler, Ben Crane, all hugged him. A very popular win for a very popular and likable player.
Watson's best finish here was when he had placed T20 in 2008. Watson attacked the flags all week long and it paid off.
Watson plays golf his way and unlike anybody else. This has earned him his first green jacket.
A well deserved and earned win for one of golf's young superstars.
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