Bubba wins Masters in miracle playoff

Bubba Watson won the Masters beating South African Louis Oosthuizen at the second hole of a sudden death playoff at Augusta National.

Watson played a remarkable recovery shot from the trees at the 10th to find the green to secure his first major title.

Bubba Watson Bubba Watson won the 2012 Masters in a two-hole playoff over Louis Oosthuizen (Photo: Anthony Powter)

Watson became the eighth first-time major winner, having lost in a playoff against Martin Kaymer at the 2010 PGA Championship, and only the third left-hander to claim the green jacket after three-time winner Phil Mickelson and Canada’s Mike Weir.

“I never got this far in my dreams,” said Watson as he prepared to don the famous green jacket, won last year by Oosthuizen’s fellow South African Charl Schwartzel.

“I was down there before [right of the 10th fairway]. Had a good lie and a gap where I had to hook it. I’m pretty good at hooking it and I put it up there 40 yards and it rolled up their close.”

Both players had finished regulation play at 10-under-par to make the playoff.

Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, missed his par putt on the second playoff hole to leave his American opponent with two putts to take the title.

“He hit an unbelievable shot there,” said Oosthuizen.

“I played well. This is not one I felt like I played badly. Great stuff to him. He deserves it.”

On the final Sunday at Augusta National, Watson looked every bit the imposing figure.

Holding his bubblegum-pink driver and dressed in his all-white outfit, Watson continued to bomb his drives monstrous distances and make putts to remain in contention.

On the 13th hole, Watson made a tricky 6-foot putt for the first of four straight birdies before hitting the lead with Oosthuizen on the sixteenth.

It was clear the 33-year-old American, who has never had a golf lesson or watched his swing on video, was on a mission. Watson’s steely determination evident in his eyes, staring down every shot and remaining in the zone on the greens, oblivious to the events unfolding around him.

“I just kept my head down, knowing there were birdies to be had down the back nine,” said an emotional Watson.

“I just kept grinding it out. This is a blessing for sure.”

Phil Mickelson made a spirited attempt at winning his fourth green jacket, embracing his family by the 18th green as his efforts fell short. Ultimately, his challenge was lost with a hideous triple-bogey six at the short fourth – his second of the week.

At 41, he seemed less sure of himself, his body language after the 4th hole displaying his inexplicable misjudgment, he knew then his chances had been dashed. No player has ever won the Masters with a triple-bogey on their card.

The world number fourteen channelled his frustration into an aggressive back nine but could not make up the ground.

The pressure bit for Sweden’s Peter Hanson, the third round leader, who shanked his tee-shot all of 80 yards at the par-three 12th, with the ball not even clearing Rae’s Creek.

Hanson would go on to card a 1-over-par 73 to finish in a tie for third at 8-under-par along with Lee Westwood, Matt Kuchar and Mickelson.

Pre-tournament favourites, Tiger Woods and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, finished tied together on five-over, 15 shots adrift after final rounds of 74 and 76 respectively.

Adam Scott finished the best of the Australians in a tie for eighth position. Scott’s final round 66, which included an ace on the 153 metre par-3 16th, elevating him twenty-four places after earlier rounds of 75-70-73.

Geoff Ogilvy finished in a tie for 19th at even par, with Aaron Baddeley in a tie for 40th at plus-5.