Watson tops Oosthuizen in Masters playoff


With a par on the second hole of sudden death, Bubba Watson won the 76th Masters, defeating Louis Oosthuizen. It is Watson's first major championship victory.

After halving the 18th in par for the second time on Sunday, both hit poor drives at the par-4 10th. Oosthuizen wound up shy of the green in two with a long iron. Seemingly without a shot in the pine straw on the right, Watson hit a 40-yard hook with a wedge from 176 yards to 10 feet. Oosthuizen could not get up-and-down from below the green, allowing Watson to cozy his birdie putt for the win.

Watson is a winner in the second major championship playoff of his career. He lost in a three-hole aggregate playoff to Martin Kaymer at the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

Both players finished 72 holes at 10 under par to force the 15th playoff in Masters history, as Oosthuizen closed with 3-under 69, while Watson was one better.

Oosthuizen made an albatross at the par-5 second hole - the first at that hole and the fourth in tournament history - to take the lead on 10 under. He would play even-par golf to the clubhouse.

At the par-3 16th hole, Watson capped a string of four consecutive birdies to tie Oosthuizen atop the leaderboard.

After the duo made a couple of all-world pars on the 17th hole, Watson and Oosthuizen smashed drives up the closing par-4. Both had a look at birdie to win the green jacket, but neither connected to force extra golf.

In 1935, Gene Sarazen made an albatross at the par-5 15th hole en route to forcing a 36-hole playoff with Craig Wood. Sarazen won the playoff by five for his lone Masters title.

Reminiscent of the 72nd hole at the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, Mickelson hit an errant tee shot at the par-3 fourth hole which ricocheted off of a grandstand and into bamboo. Having to turn his club over to play twice right-handed, Mickelson made triple-bogey six - a blow from which he would never recover. He shot even-par 72 to finish at 8 under and in a tie for third with playing partner Peter Hanson, Lee Westwood and Matt Kuchar.

Despite a birdie at the last hole, Westwood again fell short of a major championship. He closed with 4-under 68, finished at 8 under and a pair of shots out of the playoff. 

Kuchar left several changes on the edges of the cup, as he finished tied with Mickelson and Westwood at 8 under and in a tie for third place.

Hanson opened with a bogey, failed to make a birdie until the par-5 15th hole but made three at the last to join the group at 8 under.

Tiger Woods had his worst finish as a professional at the Masters, closing with 2-over 74 to finish at 5 over with Rory McIlroy. McIlroy improved on his final-round 80 from a year ago by four shots, but finished T-40 with Woods, Henrik Stenson (81) and Aaron Baddeley (74).

Luke Donald shot 4-under 68 to close out the tournament, maintaining the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking while finishing at 3 over and tied for 32nd place.