Bubba Watson beats Louis Oosthuizen for Masters title
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AUGUSTA, Ga. -- As Bubba Watson approached the eight-inch putt that would change his life forever, fans started celebrating wildly. He put a stop to that, motioning as if to say, "Whoa, not so fast." The thing is, he still was not sure what might happen next.
"I've never had a dream go this far," he said after he had won the Masters. "I can't really say it's a dream come true."
He beat Louis Oosthuizen on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday after pulling off a circus shot that trumped even Oosthuizen's historic double eagle on the second hole. Even Watson could not explain what had led up to the latest, greatest installment of Bubba Golf -- the 40-yard hooked wedge from the right trees 160 yards from the hole that allowed him the luxury of a two-putt par on the 10th hole to win.
Here is how he saw the whole thing in retrospect, during his news conference: "I know I made bogey on 12 and then I birdied four holes in a row. Nervous on every shot, every putt. I got in these trees and hit a crazy shot that I saw in my head and somehow I'm here talking to you with a green jacket on."
Watson is officially the first Bubba ever to win that garment. He is rare in many other ways, too. He never has taken a golf lesson in his life; he just sees shots in his head and hits them. The Bagdad, Fla., native and former University of Georgia golfer recently bought the first General Lee, the Dodge Charger used in the TV show "The Dukes of Hazzard."
And the green jacket wasn't even the article of clothing most on his mind this week. He and his wife Angie, a former U. of Georgia basketball player, adopted a month-old baby, Caleb, on March 26. "I've never changed a diaper yet," he said.
Even though he said, "Golf is not my everything," the truth is, the instant he made that short putt, he started crying uncontrollably. It is just that the adoption process was as daunting and rewarding as winning a major.
"The first date me and Angie ever had, she told me she was going to have to adopt. I said, 'That's fine. I said if God tells us he wants us to adopt, we'll adopt,' " the man of faith said Sunday, while his wife and son spent Easter at home. About the whole day, the golfer said, "This is a blessing."
It looked like it would be Oosthuizen's day when he made that double eagle. Watson shook his hand on the third tee and confessed he wanted to high-five him but thought it wouldn't look good. The final round took its usual wacky turns, with Phil Mickelson, the presumptive favorite based on his three green jackets, making triple bogey on No. 4.
Watson (68) and Oosthuizen (69) each finished at 10 under and each made par on the first playoff hole. Each flared right on the second, No. 10. The time was right for Bubba Golf. "I just play the game that I love," he said. "I always attack. I want to hit the incredible shot. Who doesn't?"
His caddie, Ted Scott, reminded him on the way into the right trees of Watson's own motto: "If I have a swing, I've got a shot."
"So I'm used to the woods. I'm used to the rough," he said.
Oosthuizen, still mystified that his 15-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole had missed, was impressed by his opponent. "Well, he must have a great feel for the game," he said. "It's really entertaining to play with him, to see the shots that he's taking on and shots that I don't really see or would ever hit."
The winner never saw this coming. "I dreamed about it," he said."I just never made the putt."