With so many of the top players showing fine form, this year’s Masters promises to be a close one. Could we see another playoff? Here are five of the most exciting ever.
Greg Norman had just missed out the year before when Jack Nicklaus won and he faced a 20-foot putt on the 72nd green to make amends and take the title in 1987. But it missed and he ended tied with Larry Mize and Seve Ballesteros.
On the first extra hole, the 10th, Seve was eliminated when he failed to get down in two from the fringe. Norman and Mize both made par and so moved on to the 11th. Both found the fairway from the tee but Mize then flayed his second well right of the green. Norman played to the right side of the green with a view that par might just be good enough.
Mize weighed up his chip shot and then struck it towards the pin. It rolled inexorably towards its target and dropped into the hole. Mize leapt into the air in disbelief and a shell-shocked Norman then missed his putt to tie. It was one of Norman’s many tales of Major woe.
1. 2012 – Bubba Watson beats Louis Oosthuizen
The last round had been a thriller with Louis Oosthuizen racing ahead with a stunning albatross two at the par-5 second. But Bubba Watson pegged him back with four straight birdies on the back nine. Both had putts to win outright on the final green but both missed.
The playoff started on the 18th where Watson, again found himself with a putt to win. But it never looked like going in and, after both had tapped in for par, they moved to the 10th.
Both men hit poor drives down the right side but Bubba was seemingly in more trouble than the South African – way into the woods. Oosthuizen’s second ended short of the green before attention focused on the left-hander, who looked sure to chip out. But Bubba had other ideas. He hooked a wedge shot through a gap in the trees that turned some 60 degrees in the air and landed on the green. It had so much side spin on it that it actually spun up the hill to within 10 feet of the cup. When Oosthuizen missed his par effort, Bubba had two for it. With that incredible shot, Bubba claimed his first green jacket and secured his place in Masters history.