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REVIEW: The Masters – Final Day

12 April 2012

Sunday at The Master’s is synonymous with exciting game play and shock results; and this year was no different. As the sun beat down on the Augusta fairways players and spectators alike settled in for the climax of this prestigious event. With not a cloud in sight many commented that never in Master’s history had the greens been so quick, something the players soon realised! The majority of the front runners, Hanson and Westwood included,  all bogeyed the 1st, not an ideal start for anyone, but it gave them an early indication of the speeds to expect on the greens. Lee Westwood went on to birdie the 2nd to recover from his opening mistake and continued to even out his play on the front nine with 2 further birdies shortly followed by 2 bogeys. The back nine was where he made his mark, not a bogey in sight and instead 4 birdies to finish with his second best round of the tournament on 68. Finishing third overall Westwood was happy with his performance but will always ponder how the front nine got away from him.

The joy felt by yesterday’s leaders was sadly short-lived. By the time they teed off the bar had been set and they found themselves 2 shots behind the new leader, Louis Oosthuizen with work to do. Phil Mickleson, one of the few to find par on the 1st, looked to be in control but then on the 4th scored a double bogey leaving him 4 shots off the lead. Not unachievable in normal circumstances but the standard of play was so high it was unlikely he would now take the title. Hanson, the leader at the start of play, had a dire round and  fell far  short of the score needed to retain his lead and win the title. He finished with a score of 73, and third overall with Westwood, Mickleson and Kuchar.

The story of the day was the journey shared by Louis Oosthuizen from South Africa and Bubba Watson from the USA; paired together they egged each other on and before long found themselves out in front, Oosthuizen leading with Watson 1 shot behind. Louis Oosthuizen also made history by sinking an unbelievable albatross  on the 2nd; the first player in Master’s history to do so, cataoulting  him into the lead.  He spent the following 16 holes trying to defend it. Watson wasn’t ready to give up and after a stunning round with 6 birdies both Louis and Bubba finished the final round 10 under and co-leaders, meaning only one thing –  playoff!

Both players took the walk back to the 18th ready to take the title. Watson took to the tee first, the crowd were silent, the playoff was underway. With their approach shots Louis and Watson found themselves 12 feet and 7 feet from the pin respectively. After a heart-stopping miss for birdie from Louis, and scoring par, a nervous tension filled the air; but Bubba failed to convert the 7 foot putt to win and play moved to the 10th hole. After opening drives Oosthuizen looked like he had the upper hand with Watson finding himself in the rough; but recovery has been the name of his game and a fantastic approach shot saw him within 20 feet of the pin. Oosthuizen was not so lucky, with his approach falling short and rolling back down the green. His chip was heavy-handed and finished well past the hole. With a decent putt he had to settle for bogey. It was all on Watson… who made no mistakes when he took two putts to secure the win, the title and the coverted Green Jacket!; Bubba Watson –  The Master’s Champion 2012!