Masters 2012: the final day – live!
This is amazing drama. So much tension. Oosthuizen is left with a 30 footer down the slope. He sets it out left. It snakes back right, and then left again as it reaches the hole.
Too far left; it crosses the front of the hole and continues on, leaving him with a six-foot tester coming back. Over to Bubba. On 16, Mickelson’s tee shot lands at the back of the green, staying on the upper tier. He’ll not make birdie from there, unless something stupendously stupid occurs. On 18, Harrington ends with a double bogey, missing a short putt, the final indignity. He ends the day on -4. So many chances, so many chances. On 17, Oosthuizen’s ball has come back out onto the fairway, but he doesn’t take advantage of the lucky break, finding the bunker front right of the green with his second. Bubba is in the trees, but in a clearance, and decides to go for the green with a wedge. And he finds it! Miles from the pin, but after that drive, he’d have taken that every time!
A birdie for Hanson on 15, but surely it’s too little, too late: he’s -7. Mickelson follows him in, to move to -8. Still fighting, but only just. Mind you, on 17, Bubba slices a wayward drive miles left – and then Oosthuizen hits a similarly hopeless slice to the right! Not sure where either ball has landed yet, but both are in the trees it would seem. Here comes pressure! This Masters just gets better and better!
Harrington’s approach to 18 ends in a bunker at the front of the green. Symbolic of his day; he’s come up just short, time and time again. On 16, Oosthuizen hits a solid birdie effort from 15 feet, but it’s always missing left on the low side. Bubba makes no mistake, however, and crashes in his birdie putt. He hares after it before it drops, high on life. He’s now carded four birdies on the spin, and is joint leader with Oosthuizen at -10. This is intense, and as good as golf gets.
Bubba hits his tee shot at 16 to eight feet. It’s a wonderful shot under the most intense pressure. He’s been the most consistent player of the week. Is he just timing his run perfectly? Oosthuizen puts his tee shot into the centre of the green, consolidating his one-shot lead; the ball topples down the ridge, some way behind Bubba’s ball, but with a half-chance for a long birdie putt that would be a real kick in his rival’s teeth.
Westwood is now the clubhouse leader at -8. There are now only two people ahead of him: Oosthuizen and Bubba. That’s because on 16, Kuchar dinks a delicate, nay pretty, chip down the green from his awkward position to the right. He slowly guides it to the top of a ridge, where it breaks sharp left and speeds up. He leaves himself with a 12 footer for par, the best he could do. It’s an amazing shot. But not enough to save his par, as he can’t knock in the snaky, gossamer putt. He’s back to -8.
Bubba prods his uphill eagle putt on 15 in a very ginger fashion. He’ll need to make the tricky birdie putt he’s left himself, because Oosthuizen makes his, regaining the sole leadership at -10. Watson does birdie, though: it’s his third on the bounce, and he’s -9. This is awesome golf. Speaking of which, up on 18, Westwood ends with a birdie, clipping his approach to eight feet past the pin, and rolling it straight in. He punches the air, knowing he’s probably not quite done enough – but then again, he’s far enough up the leaderboard to retain a reasonable chance!
Oosthuizen pushes his approach to 15 wide of the bunker to the right of the green. That’s not great. Bubba, however, sends an 8-iron to the centre of the green, 20 feet from the pin for eagle. On 16, the super-hot Kuchar is spooked by the water, and sends his tee shot miles wide right, just off the green. That will be quite a test, with the hole near the water, near the kink of the green. Back on 15, Oosthuizen manages to manufacture a bump just onto the green. Not ideal, but not a disaster, and about the best he could have done from there. He’s left with a 12-foot tester. On 18, Poulter three putts, ending the day on -5. Typical Masters drama, right here, right now.
Kuchar taps in his eagle putt, and joins Oosthuizen in the lead. On 18, Poulter’s approach reaches the back left of the green. The pin’s in it’s usual Sunday position: think Sandy Lyle. On 15, Bubba cracks a ludicrously long drive straight down the middle. And so does Oosthuizen.
A poor chip and two putts for Peter Hanson, whose challenge is all over, I’d suggest, given the defeated angle of his shoulders. Bye! On 15, Kuchar is surely certain of a birdie, as he nearly creams his second into the cup for a second albatross of the day! It was inches away. That would have been truly preposterous, Gene Sarazen cubed. The ball’s not far from the pin, that’s an almost certain eagle.