Bubba Watson Wins The U.S. Masters At Augusta In A Play-Off

American Bubba Watson stopped Louis Oosthuizen from becoming the third South African to wear a green jacket in the last five years by defeating him in a play off to clinch the 76th U.S. Masters title at Augusta.

Watson and 2010 Open champion Oosthuizen tied at 10 under after 72 holes and shared par fours at the first extra hole, the 18th.

The 33-year-old left-hander won at the second extra hole to claim his first major title. It was a fifth win by a left-hander in the last 10 Masters.

Watson had missed a 22-footer on the final green and then failed with a nine-footer when they returned to the 18th.

They then switched to the downhill 10th. Oosthuizen bogeyed and Watson, despite hitting into trouble with his distinctive pink driver, conjured up a superb hook onto the green and two-putted for victory.

Watson’s previous best major placing was finishing as runner-up to Germany’s Martin Kaymer at the 2010 PGA Championship, after losing a play-off.

He becomes the eighth consecutive first-time major winner and he will move up to fourth in the world rankings.

Watson, playing alongside Oosthuizen in the penultimate group, fired four birdies in a row from the 13th to join the South African on 10 under but missed a birdie putt to win in regulation, finishing with a 68 to force a play-off.

Oosthuizen, 29, rocketed into the lead when he holed his second shot at the par-five second hole for only the fourth albatross in the history of the Masters.

That took him to 10 under and though he dropped back mid-way through an absorbing final round, he climbed back up with a birdie at the 15th and carded 69.

“I felt it was tough over the next four or five holes, but then when we turned I felt very relaxed. I made a few great saves. I probably did very well to get in the play-off.”

Westwood birdied the last, but a 68 for eight under left him joint third with Hanson, Mickelson and another American, Matt Kuchar.

It was Westwood’s sixth top three finish in his last 10 majors, but still he has not won one in 56 attempts.

Three-time champion Mickelson began the day one adrift of playing partner Hanson in the final group and was expected to mount a trademark charge.

But he made a triple-bogey seven on the short fourth after hitting his tee shot into bamboo to the left of the green and was unable to match the back-nine fireworks of Saturday or 2010.

England’s Ian Poulter (69) finished seventh on five under, while Australian Adam Scott, last year’s runner-up, carded a 66 that included a hole in one on the 16th to finish four under.

England’s Justin Rose (68) and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington (72) finished alongside Scott in a tie for eighth.

Pre-tournament favorites Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, they finished together down on five over and were in a tie for 40th.

World number one Luke Donald carded 68, his first under-par round of the week, to finish three over.

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