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Watson clinches Augusta Masters

April 10, 2012

AUGUSTA (Georgia), April 9: Bubba Watson conjured a miraculous par from pine straw to become only the third left-hander to win the Masters with an emotional playoff victory over Louis Oosthuizen at Augusta National on Sunday.

The American clinched his first major title with a two-putt par on the second extra hole, the par-four 10th, where South African 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 the long-hitting 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 with a gap wedge for his ball to settle 10 feet from the pin.

After Oosthuizen had chipped up 15 feet past 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 from Bagdad in Florida gathered himself and tapped in for victory before embracing his caddie.

The duo had finished the regulation 72 holes on 10-under-par 278, Oosthuizen carding a three-under 69 and Watson drawing level with a sizzling run of four birdies from the 13th on the way to a 68.

Leading final-round scores: 278 – Watson (US) 69, 71, 70, 68; Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) 68, 72, 69, 69 (Watson won playoff at second extra hole).

280 – Lee Westwood (Britain) 67, 73, 72, 68; Matt Kuchar (US) 71, 70, 70, 69; Peter Hanson (Sweden) 68, 74, 65, 73; Phil Mickelson (US) 74, 68, 66, 72.

283 – Ian Poulter (Britain) 72, 72, 70, 69.

284 – Adam Scott (Australia) 75, 70, 73, 66; Justin Rose (Britain) 72, 72, 72, 68; Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 71, 73, 68, 72. 285 – Jim Furyk (US) 70, 73, 72, 70.

293 – Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 71, 71, 77, 74; Tiger Woods (US) 72, 75, 72, 74.—Reuters