(Reuters) – American Bubba Watson became only the third left-hander to win the Masters with a gripping playoff victory over South African Louis Oosthuizen at Augusta National today.
Watson clinched his first major title with a two-putt par on the second extra hole, the par-four 10th, where Oosthuizen bogeyed after ending up just short of the green in two and failing to get up and down.
Both players had ended up well right off the tee, Oosthuizen gaining a fortuitous bounce off a tree before playing his second shot from the first cut of rough.
Although Watson ended up deep in the tree line, he had an avenue to the green and struck a superb high draw off the pine straw for his ball to land 10 feet from the pin.
After Oosthuizen had chipped up 15 feet past the pin and narrowly missed his par putt coming back, Watson had the luxury of two putts for victory.
His birdie attempt slid past the cup but the 33-year-old gathered himself and tapped in for victory before embracing his caddie.
“We had a great day,” Oosthuizen told reporters. “It’s fine, he had an unbelievable shot there. I played well … but great stuff from him and he deserves it.”
On the first extra hole, the par-four 18th, Watson narrowly missed a birdie putt from nine feet after Oosthuizen’s attempt from 15 feet had slipped past the right edge of the cup.
The duo had finished the regulation 72 holes on 10-under-par 278, Oosthuizen recording a rare albatross at the second on the way to a three-under 69 and Watson closing with a 68.
It was the fourth playoff at Augusta National in the last 10 years and the first since Argentina’s Angel Cabrera edged out American Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry in 2009.
British world number three Lee Westwood birdied four of the last six holes for a 68 to share third place at eight under with Americans Phil Mickelson (72) and Matt Kuchar (69), and Swede Peter Hanson (73).
Four-times winner Woods made a humbling exit from the tournament after battling his way to a two-over-par 74 and a five-over total of 293, his worst Masters finish as a professional.
Woods finished level with U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy (76) in a tie for 40th despite the pair being labelled by some media as tournament favourites in a “two-horse race”.