Oosthuizen has to settle for albatross at Masters

Topics:

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Louis Oosthuizen owns a piece of history at Augusta National.

He’d rather have a green jacket, but that double eagle will have to suffice.

After kicking off the day with the rare albatross, Oosthuizen came up short to Bubba Watson in a playoff at the Masters Sunday, outdone by perhaps the only shot more spectacular than his. Unable to see the flag, Watson managed to hook a wedge off the pine needles to 10 feet on the second playoff hole while the South African couldn’t get up and down from in front of the green.

“It was tough after that double eagle. When something like that happens early in your round, you think that this is it,” Oosthuizen said. “It’s a hard day, but you know, congrats to Bubba. He did brilliantly.”

Despite a commanding win at the British Open in 2010 and one of the sweetest, smoothest swings in the game, Oosthuizen is still largely an unknown, even among the golf crowd. Maybe it’s because he splits his time between the European and PGA tours. Maybe it’s because he’s so low-key his idea of a good time is hunkering down on his farm in South Africa.

But he has the game to hang with anyone.

While everyone else was measuring Phil Mickelson for his fourth green jacket Sunday morning, defending champion Charl Schwartzel was putting his money on his countryman and junior golf buddy.

“I think he’s playing the best out of everyone up there,” Schwartzel said. “He’s hot right now.”

That albatross is sure to grab everyone’s attention.

In the fairway on No. 2, from 253 yards out, he blasted a 4-iron onto the front, than watched it roll from the front of the green to the back and into the hole. Oosthuizen raised both hands in the air and high-fived his caddie as fans let out a roar that shook the Georgia pines all the way to Amen Corner.

“I knew if I get it right, it’s going to feed toward the hole,” he said. “But never thought it would go in.”

It was the first double eagle ever on No. 2, and only the fourth in the 76 years of the Masters. It was the most famous albatross at Augusta since the one Gene Sarazen knocked in on No. 15 en route to a playoff victory in 1935 — known as the shot that put the Masters on the map.

“I just wanted to run over there and give him a high five,” Watson said. “As a fan of golf, that’s what you love watching and I got to see it front row.”



Oosthuizen sauntered to the cup and plucked the ball out. But forget about saving it for some grand trophy case back home, that’s not his style. He flipped it into the crowd, instead.

But the albatross was, well, a bit of an albatross.

“It was tough the next five holes to just get my head around it and just play the course,” Oosthuizen acknowledged.

He finally settled down about the 11th hole, but made only two more birdies the rest of the day. And both were on par-5s, where birdies may as well be pars for the way the long holes play at Augusta National.

Watson, meanwhile, made four straight birdies on the back nine to join Oosthuizen atop the leaderboard.

Forced into a playoff when neither could make a birdie on 18, Oosthuizen headed toward the putting green after signing his card only to find it had been taken over for the green jacket ceremony. Security led him back through the clubhouse, where a group of fans greeted him with applause.

Not so fast.

Beginning on 18, Oosthuizen thought he had it won on the first playoff hole. His approach from 150 yards out curled down and stopped 15 feet from the cup. The putt looked true as it rolled but it slid along the upper edge of the cup and refused to drop.

Oosthuizen’s knees buckled, and he buried his face in his hands.

“I thought it was in. There was no way that could stop turning,” he said. “It turned the whole way, and about a foot short of the hole just stopped turning. So you know, I thought it was over by then.”

But Watson missed his birdie putt, too, and they moved on to No. 10, the second playoff hole. When Watson launched his tee shot so far right it landed behind the gallery, Oosthuizen had another opportunity.

“And I like the tee shot on 10. So after he hit it in the trees there, I felt confident and just probably spun a bit out of it, catching it off the heel,” he said. “It just left me a lot further back than I wanted to be.”

He left himself short on his second shot, then flew the green. When Watson hooked his shot out of trouble and onto the green, Oosthuizen was all but finished.

“It’s fine,” Oosthuizen said. “He hit an unbelievable shot there. I played well. This is not one where I felt like I played badly. Great stuff to him, he deserves it.”

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët
    Kerascoët's lovely, delicate pen-and-watercolor art -- all intricate botanicals, big eyes and flowing hair -- gives this fairy story a deceptively pretty finish. You find out quickly, however, that these are the heartless and heedless fairies of folk legend, not the sentimental sprites beloved by the Victorians and Disney fans. A host of tiny hominid creatures must learn to survive in the forest after fleeing their former home -- a little girl who lies dead in the woods. The main character, Aurora, tries to organize the group into a community, but most of her cohort is too capricious, lazy and selfish to participate for long. There's no real moral to this story, which is refreshing in itself, beyond the perpetual lessons that life is hard and you have to be careful whom you trust. Never has ugly truth been given a prettier face.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni
    Squarzoni is a French cartoonist who makes nonfiction graphic novels about contemporary issues and politics. While finishing up a book about France under Jacques Chirac, he realized that when it came to environmental policy, he didn't know what he was talking about. "Climate Changed" is the result of his efforts to understand what has been happening to the planet, a striking combination of memoir and data that ruminates on a notoriously elusive, difficult and even imponderable subject. Panels of talking heads dispensing information (or Squarzoni discussing the issues with his partner) are juxtaposed with detailed and meticulous yet lyrical scenes from the author's childhood, the countryside where he takes a holiday and a visit to New York. He uses his own unreachable past as a way to grasp the imminent transformation of the Earth. The result is both enlightening and unexpectedly moving.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Here by Richard McGuire
    A six-page version of this innovative work by a regular contributor to the New Yorker first appeared in RAW magazine 25 years ago. Each two-page spread depicts a single place, sometimes occupied by a corner of a room, over the course of 4 billion years. The oldest image is a blur of pink and purple gases; others depict hazmat-suited explorers from 300 years in the future. Inset images show the changing decor and inhabitants of the house throughout its existence: family photos, quarrels, kids in Halloween costumes, a woman reading a book, a cat walking across the floor. The cumulative effect is serene and ravishing, an intimation of the immensity of time and the wonder embodied in the humblest things.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer
    The legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist delivers his debut graphic novel at 85, a deliriously over-the-top blend of classic movie noir and melodrama that roams from chiaroscuro Bay City to Hollywood to a USO gig in the Pacific theater of World War II. There's a burnt-out drunk of a private eye, but the story is soon commandeered by a multigenerational collection of ferocious women, including a mysterious chanteuse who never speaks, a radio comedy writer who makes a childhood friend the butt of a hit series and a ruthless dame intent on making her whiny coward of a husband into a star. There are disguises, musical numbers and plenty of gunfights, but the drawing is the main attraction. Nobody convey's bodies in motion more thrillingly than Feiffer, whether they're dancing, running or duking it out. The kid has promise.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis
    This is a weird one, but in the nervy surreal way that word-playful novels like "A Clockwork Orange" or "Ulysses" are weird. The main character, a teenage schoolboy named Scarper Lee, lives in a world where it rains knives and people make their own parents, contraptions that can be anything from a tiny figurine stashable in a pocket to biomorphic boiler-like entities that seem to have escaped from Dr. Seuss' nightmares. Their homes are crammed with gadgets they call gods and instead of TV they watch a hulu-hoop-size wheel of repeating images that changes with the day of the week. They also know their own "death day," and Scarper's is coming up fast. Maybe that's why he runs off with the new girl at school, a real troublemaker, and the obscurely dysfunctional Castro, whose mother is a cageful of talking parakeets. A solid towline of teenage angst holds this manically inventive vision together, and proves that some graphic novels can rival the text-only kind at their own game.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    NOBROW 9: It's Oh So Quiet
    For each issue, the anthology magazine put out by this adventurous U.K.-based publisher of independent graphic design, illustration and comics gives 45 artists a four-color palette and a theme. In the ninth issue, the theme is silence, and the results are magnificent and full of surprises. The comics, each told in images only, range from atmospheric to trippy to jokey to melancholy to epic to creepy. But the two-page illustrations are even more powerful, even if it's not always easy to see how they pertain to the overall concept of silence. Well, except perhaps for the fact that so many of them left me utterly dumbstruck with visual delight.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Over Easy by Mimi Pond
    When Pond was a broke art student in the 1970s, she took a job at a neighborhood breakfast spot in Oakland, a place with good food, splendid coffee and an endlessly entertaining crew of short-order cooks, waitresses, dishwashers and regular customers. This graphic memoir, influenced by the work of Pond's friend, Alison Bechdel, captures the funky ethos of the time, when hippies, punks and disco aficionados mingled in a Bay Area at the height of its eccentricity. The staff of the Imperial Cafe were forever swapping wisecracks and hopping in and out of each other's beds, which makes them more or less like every restaurant team in history. There's an intoxicating esprit de corps to a well-run everyday joint like the Imperial Cafe, and never has the delight in being part of it been more winningly portrayed.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
    You don't have to be a superhero fan to be utterly charmed by Yang and Liew's revival of a little-known character created in the 1940s by the cartoonist Chu Hing. This version of the Green Turtle, however, is rich in characterization, comedy and luscious period detail from the Chinatown of "San Incendio" (a ringer for San Francisco). Hank, son of a mild-mannered grocer, would like to follow in his father's footsteps, but his restless mother (the book's best character and drawn with masterful nuance by Liew) has other ideas after her thrilling encounter with a superhero. Yang's story effortlessly folds pathos into humor without stooping to either slapstick or cheap "darkness." This is that rare tribute that far surpasses the thing it celebrates.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Shoplifter by Michael Cho
    Corinna Park, former English major, works, unhappily, in a Toronto advertising agency. When the dissatisfaction of the past five years begins to oppress her, she lets off steam by pilfering magazines from a local convenience store. Cho's moody character study is as much about city life as it is about Corinna. He depicts her falling asleep in front of the TV in her condo, brooding on the subway, roaming the crowded streets after a budding romance goes awry. Like a great short story, this is a simple tale of a young woman figuring out how to get her life back, but if feels as if it contains so much of contemporary existence -- its comforts, its loneliness, its self-deceptions -- suspended in wintery amber.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
    This collection of archetypal horror, fairy and ghost stories, all about young girls, comes lushly decked in Carroll's inky black, snowy white and blood-scarlet art. A young bride hears her predecessor's bones singing from under the floorboards, two friends make the mistake of pretending to summon the spirits of the dead, a family of orphaned siblings disappears one by one into the winter nights. Carroll's color-saturated images can be jagged, ornate and gruesome, but she also knows how to chill with absence, shadows and a single staring eye. Literary readers who cherish the work of Kelly Link or the late Angela Carter's collection, "The Bloody Chamber," will adore the violent beauty on these pages.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments are not enabled for this story.