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Watson win a fitting end to thrilling Masters

Neil Johnston reviews a stunning final day at Augusta, where Bubba Watson was the surprise victor. (Thumbnail credit Watson secured his first major by beating Louis Oosthuizen in a play-off, Image: jpellgen via flickr Creative Commons)

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On Sunday Bubba Watson secured his first major after defeating Louis Oosthuizen in a playoff at Augusta. This was the end to one of the most exciting final rounds of any major in recent years.

With so many players in contention Augusta was set for a thrilling 18 holes from the start of play. The talented field did not disappoint with Adam Scott and Bo Van Pelt both gaining holes-in-one while Louis Oosthuizen produced possibly one of the greatest shots in Masters history.

The South African became one of only four players ever to score an albatross at The Masters when he holed his second shot at the par-5 second.

The perfectly stuck 4-iron landed at the front of the green and the ball followed the tricky Augusta undulations and eventually found its way to the cup, propelling Oosthuizen into a two shot lead. With such a moment of brilliance early on it set the pace for the rest of the field.

For a while it looked like Oosthuizen was going to remain on course for victory as Peter Hanson and Bubba Watson failed to catch up while Phil Mickelson shot himself in the foot with his third double bogey ever at the Masters.

The most likely lefty to win pinged his tee shot on the par-3 fourth off the stand and into the trees. Mickelson left himself in a position that even his short game genius could not get out of and after two right handed hits of the ball eventually found his way back into play. The American then fluffed his flop shot into the bunker before getting up and down for his triple bogey.

While things were looking good for Oosthuizen, everything changed on the back nine. Out ahead Kuchar and Westwood were already marching up the leaderboard as the Englishman made four birdies in the last six holes.

After a bogey at ten Oosthuizen was boosted by Watson dropping a stroke at the short but challenging 12th hole.

It looked like the South African's biggest worries were those in front of him. However Watson then upped his game and started his comeback.

First he birdied the final hole of Amen corner using his length off the tee to take advantage of the par 5. This was followed up by another three birdies to give him a share of the lead going onto the 17th tee.

Oosthuizen had matched Watson with birdies on both the par 5s in the back nine but couldn't score the same on the 14th or 16th, allowing the American to catch up. Two pars by both players led the way to a sudden death play-off and another trip down 18.

Oosthuizen was first to hit his approach shot and landed the ball 20 feet right of the pin while Watson knocked his in to half that distance.

A solid putt came close to dropping for the South African giving Watson a putt for the tournament. However he also missed making way for a second playoff hole.

This time on the dogleg tenth both players hit wild drives off the tee. Oosthuizen found himself in the fairway but a long way back and left his approach a club shorty of the green.

Meanwhile Bubba Watson found his ball deep in the trees but with a line out of trouble. From here Watson produced one of the shots of the tournament, drawing the ball round and the trees and into ten feet.

Oosthuizen couldn't get up and down and Watson two putted for victory. Watson's final approach shot really was a fitting end to a brilliant tournament.

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