- The Augusta Chronicle - Sunday, April 7, 2013

An area to the right of Augusta National Golf Club’s 10th fairway will be a popular spot to visit when practice rounds for the 77th Masters Tournament begin. It’s the site of the latest addition to the tournament’s long list of famous shots.

Fans will head down the hill to “Bubba Land,” that area approximately 340 yards from the tee on No. 10. That’s where Bubba Watson hit the miraculous 162-yard, curving approach shot from deep in the pines to win the 2012 Masters on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff with Louis Oosthuizen.

Fans should have some company over on No. 10. Ever since the left-handed Watson hooked that shot around the corner and onto the green to set up a two-putt par for the win, players have been curious to see the spot.

“I’ll definitely take a look at it,” Jason Day said.

Three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo, who no longer competes in the tournament, played a practice round Sunday with his son Matthew, and checked out the area.

“Yeah, we went down there,” said Faldo, who is the lead analyst on CBS’s golf coverage. “Matthew was down there live last year. He took me down there to the spot to see it. I didn’t realize it was that far down. On television, I thought he was coming out from 180 yards; we didn’t have a yardage.”

Keegan Bradley also played the second nine Sunday, but said, “I haven’t gone over there yet.”

Some players, such as Padraig Harrington, want to see whether they can duplicate the shot hit by Watson, whose creative shots earned him the nickname “freak show” by fellow pro Kevin Na.

For Harrington, a three-time major champion, one of the thrills of playing in the Masters is trying to pull off some of the famous shots in the tournament’s history during practice rounds.

“This year I’ll look at a new shot from the trees on 10,” Harrington said at Doral in March. “That’s what you do when you go back. The first thing you do is head down to the trees on 10 and have a look at it for yourself. I’ve seen it on TV, now I want to see it for real. I want to see this one.”

Harrington wasn’t at Augusta National on Sunday. He tied for 10th place at the Texas Open in San Antonio and then headed to Augusta to begin preparations for his 14th Masters appearance.

Checking out the spot – or hitting the shot – doesn’t interest some of the golfers.

“I’m planning on not being over there,” Lee Westwood said. “So I won’t go over there.”

Westwood is the rare golfer, or golf fan, who has never seen the shot.

“I don’t watch a lot of golf on TV,” Westwood said. “I have other things to do. I was flying somewhere probably when he played that shot. I’ve seen pictures in magazines of where he hit it from but I’ve never seen him hit the shot.”

Englishman David Lynn, who is making his Masters debut this week, said he hadn’t thought about checking out the spot where Watson hit the famous shot.

“You’d have to walk off the beaten track a little bit to go see it,” Lynn said. “There are a lot of shots I’ve seen there over the years I could look at spots from. You’ve just seen so many shots there that have been hit. There are too many to name. I’m sure when I’m there and I’m standing in that position there will be stuff coming back into my mind.”

Playing the role of tour guide, Harrington has a suggestion for Masters rookies such as Lynn.

“The first year you get there, the two shots you try out are the chip from the right of 11 (which Larry Mize holed to win the 1987 Masters) and you practice the Seve Ballesteros 15th (when he hit in the water in 1986), unfortunately. You don’t try and duff it. But this is the problem with the course, you have baggage. There’s excess baggage always at Augusta. You have experience but you have excess baggage. Everybody carries a few scars that they remember.”

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