As incredible as it all seemed, Gerry “Bubba” Watson, Jr., the powerful lefty with a million shots at his disposal, was a major champion.
“I never got this far in my dreams,” Watson said in Butler cabin, where defending champion Charl Schwartzel helped him into the green jacket. “It’s a blessing. To go home to my new son, it’s going to be fun.”
Oosthuizen was trying to join Gene Sarazen in the 1935 Masters as the only major champions to win with a double eagle in the final round. The former British Open champion made one clutch putt after another on the back nine, none more important than a 4-footer on the 18th for a 69 to force the playoff.
Both had a good look at birdie at No. 18 on the first extra hole and missed.
Watson, dressed all in white and using a pink driver, hooked his tee shot on the 10th into the trees, and it appeared he would have no shot at reaching the green.
Walking down the fairway toward an uncertain lie, he and caddie Ted Scott recalled their credo _ “If I have a swing, I’ve got a shot.”
Among his idols in golf are Seve Ballesteros, who built a career on magical escapes like this one. It was the first Masters since Ballesteros died last May. Watson also admires Phil Mickelson, who never saw a flag that frightened him.
“I attack. I always attack,” Watson said. “I don’t like to go to the center of the greens. I want to hit the incredible shot. Who doesn’t? That’s why we play the game of golf, to pull off the amazing shot.”
They finished at 10-under 278, two shots ahead of four players who kept it close and made the Masters as compelling as ever.
Mickelson, playing in the final group for the fourth time, recovered from a triple bogey on the par-3 fourth hole and still managed to stay in the game. He could only make two-putt birdies on the two par 5s on the back and shot 72.
“It’s disappointing that I didn’t grab that fourth green jacket,” said Mickelson, whose wife and three kids flew in from San Diego on Sunday. “It’s disappointing that I didn’t make it happen on the back nine and get the putts to fall, even though I felt like I was hitting them pretty good. I gave them all good chances. I just couldn’t quite get them to go.”
Lee Westwood of England ran off three straight birdies, but the last one hurt. He had an 8-foot eagle putt to tie for the lead on the 15th and missed it, and a final birdie on the 18th gave him a 68 and only made it look close.
“I don’t feel like giving up just yet,” said Westwood, who had his seventh top-3 finish in a major since the 2008 U.S. Open.
Matt Kuchar tied for the lead with a short eagle putt on the 15th, then bogeyed the 16th for a 69. Peter Hanson of Sweden, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round, didn’t make a birdie until the 15th hole. He closed with a 73.
Watson, a 33-year-old from Bagdad, Fla., in the Panhandle, won for the fourth time in his career and moves to No. 4 in the world, making him the highest-ranked American in golf. He became the fifth left-hander to win the Masters in the last 10 years.View Entire Story
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