April 8, 2012
Bubba Watson wins 76th Masters
By Jon McCarthy, QMI Agency
AUGUSTA - Bubba Watson has never had a golf lesson but now he has a green jacket.
The big-hitting Watson won the 2012 Masters on the second playoff hole over Louis Oosthuizen at Augusta National.
Just after lunch, Watson sent out a tweet asking, “How do I get my hair to look this good?” That’s just the kind of guy Bubba is. He’s his own man, with his own swing and he loves to wildly shape the ball on the golf course. On the second playoff hole, the 10th at Augusta he needed to do just that.
After booming his drive long and way right into the trees, Watson decided to forego punching out to the fairway and decided to play a dramatic hook that would make or break his day.
Watson pulled off the incredible shot and minutes later had two putts from about 15 feet to win the Masters. He tapped in for par and was mobbed by friends and family.
Watson and Oosthuizen battled each other at Augusta National all day and headed to the playoff tied at 10-under par.
Both men made pars on the first playoff hole.
“Yeah, he’s got a great game,” said Fred Couples about Watson Sunday night. “He’s got a great swing because he’s perfect at impact.”
“He’s so strong. You know, he can overpower any course and this would be one,” added Couples.
Phil Mickelson’s catastrophe at the fourth hole on Sunday cost him a chance at his fourth green jacket. Mickelson didn’t make a bogey or a double-bogey in his final round but he made a round-killing triple bogey — his second of the week — which dropped him to five behind the leader Oosthuizen just four holes after teeing off in the final group one shot back.
Mickelson tried to mount a back-nine charge but needing eagles on at least one of the closing par 5s, he made two birdies and couldn’t close the gap.
He needed to hole out his second shot from the woods at the final hole for a chance to join Watson and Oosthuizen in the playoff but could do no better than par to finish 8-under in a tie for third place with Lee Westwood and Matt Kuchar.
“I had a lot of chances on the back nine,” Mickelson said. “I just couldn’t quite get it going.”
Englishman Westwood was trying to break his 0-55 record at majors and finally broke his bad luck at Augusta’s 18th hole with a birdie finish. He was low-man in the clubhouse for a while at 8-under but it proved to be not enough for the first round leader.
The feel good story of the week was 52-year-old Fred Couples. Baby boomers everywhere were rooting for the man affectionately called “Boom Boom” but the 1992 green jacket winner couldn’t pull off the miracle, finishing at 2-under par for the championship,
“It was a fun day,” Couples said. “I actually played okay and shot even par.”
After his round Sunday, Couples was still thinking about Saturday’s round of 75.
“Yesterday killed me,” he said. “I was very tentative on the greens and didn’t putt well, but I hit the ball okay. So for me it’s sad to finish. I’d like to have another round. But I’ll come back next year again.”
The 2012 Masters began as the Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy show but turned out to be anything but. Woods didn’t break par once all week, shooting two-over par Sunday to finish tied for 40th place at 5-over par. McIlroy shot 77, 76 on the weekend to tie Woods.
“I didn’t hit the ball very good this week, and what’s frustrating is I know what to do, and I just don’t do it,” Woods said. “I get out there and I just don’t trust it at all. I fall back into the same old patterns again, and I just need to do more reps.”
Wet weather, a soft course and mudballs were the talk of the early rounds at this year’s Masters. By the weekend, the weather was hot and the course was drying out. Saturday’s pin placements made “moving day” a reality with Sweden’s Peter Hanson and Mickelson vaulting into the lead.
On Sunday at Augusta the famous back nine didn’t disappoint and it came down to a playoff between Oosthuizen and Watson, each looking for his first Masters victory.
In the fourth playoff in the past 10 years at Augusta, the man named Bubba went home with the green jacket.