Birdie: Bubba Watson
We knew him first as a golfer of outsized length, and that part remains true. But Watson also displayed a mixture of savvy and gumption Sunday, bashing powerful but controlled fades around Augusta National’s doglegs, and occasionally pulling off wizardry with his wedge. Unlike his last time in a major championship playoff, in the 2010 PGA, Watson seemed unfazed by the magnitude of the moment, hitting his best shots when the stakes were highest. If he can do it once, who’s to say he can’t do it again and again?
Bogey: Phil Mickelson
With three green jackets to his name and some unproven players all around him, Mickelslon was the least likely player on the leader board to make a costly mental error. But he did that on the par-3 fourth hole, when he missed the green way left, saw his ball bounce off a railing, then foolishly attempted two right-handed shots out of the weeds. A triple bogey would follow, and Mickelson spent the rest of the afternoon trying to make up for his mistakes.
Biridie: Louis Oosthuizen
The South African came up painfully short, but his performance proved that his British Open win two years ago was no fluke. Oosthuizen showed steely nerves all day, most notably when he holed a five-foot par putt to get into a playoff. He didn’t come away with a second major championship, but at 29, he showed that he’ll be a player at the game’s biggest events for years to come. Oh yeah, he also pulled off a shot that will be showed on highlight reels for years to come.
Bogey: Tiger Woods
His five-over par finish was Woods’ worst in the Masters as a pro, what he described as an “off week at the wrong time.” Perhaps, but Woods has had more of those at Augusta than he’d like to admit. Having now gone seven years since capturing the last of his four green jackets, it bears asking whether Augusta National is too narrow and too severe for Woods to be consistently a threat. The thinking was that for Woods to capture Jack Nicklaus he’d need to cash in at least a couple more times at the Masters. Given what we’ve seen of late, that seems like a stretch.
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