Floridian Gerry “Bubba” Watson, 33, (pictured above with his mom Molly) has been a professional golfer for nine years, yet had not won a major tournament until his dramatic playoff win at the 2012 Masters. He and Louis Oosthuizen finished tied at 10-under par after the regulation 72 holes, forcing a sudden-death playoff.
Both men parred the 18th hole to start the playoff, so it headed to the 10th hole. Off the tee on 10, Watson sent his first shot way into the trees on the right side of the fairway (pictured below), while Oosthuizen was just off the fairway in the rough, so it looked like Oosthuizen was in good position to win. But Watson made an incredible shot from inside the trees to leave his ball about 10 feet from the pin.
Oosthuizen then put his third shot on the far edge of the green and because he was farthest from the hole, putted first. He put forth an excellent putt that just missed and then tapped in for a bogey, leaving Watson a two-putt to win.
Watson missed his first putt, so Oosthuizen could have forced a third playoff hole if he’d made his putt, but Watson makes his second putt to par the hole and win the green jacket. Watson was overcome with emotion following the win, especially talking about his new son Caleb.
Watson’s previous best finish at a major tournament was 2nd at the 2010 PGA Championship. This was only the fourth Masters Watson played in. His previous best Masters finish was tied for 20th.
Watson is only the third left-handed golfer to win the green jacket, though all the lefty wins have come in the last nine years. In fact, this makes it five wins for left-handed golfers in the last 10 Masters tournaments. Congratulations to Bubba Watson!