April 11, 2013

The Masters: Not losing it can mean a win

The competition for that storied green jacket could give any golfer fits.

By MARK WHICKER The Orange County Register

(Continued from page 1)

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Bubba Watson is congratulated by spectators after a hole-in-one on the 16th hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Wednesday in Augusta, Ga.

Photos by The Associated Press

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Molly Marie Watson proudly hugs her son, Bubba Watson, after he won the 2012 Masters, partially due to a perfect wedge shot from pine straw on the 10th hole to save par.

"When I got into position to win again it was gut-check time," Scott said. "You've just got to get on with it.

"You don't want to struggle to close out a golf tournament. I don't want to lose any more, but it's inevitable if you contend a lot. The first one I had my hands on, I let go. But I really just took the positives, that it was great to play so well in a major."

That might sound like convoluted denial. Greg Norman used to say the same thing. It didn't prevent the 78 he shot on Sunday in 1996, the one that made his six-shot lead irrelevant.

But the only option for a golfer is to deal with bleak phenomena and select the most helpful memory.

After all, nine of the past 12 54-hole leaders in majors have failed to win.

Watson himself washed away his hopes in the 2010 PGA playoff, losing to Martin Kaymer.

Watson walked down the 10th fairway the other day and saw two people in the pine straw. He knew what they were after.

"The spot is a little farther down," he told them.

They turned in surprise -- and Watson recognized Billy Casper, the 1970 champ, and his son.

"I didn't know who they were," Watson said. "I couldn't see through the trees."

On Sunday at Augusta, you don't have to look. The crash gives it away.


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