Watson's masterful talents set for wider exposure

Mon Apr 9, 2012 3:56pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Part Seve Ballesteros and part John Daly, newly crowned Masters champion Bubba Watson is a gifted shot-maker and genuine crowd pleaser who plays with extraordinary passion.

Like the late Spanish matador Ballesteros, Watson likes nothing more than to take on shots that most other players could never envisage. Sometimes they do not come off; often they do in breath-taking fashion.

And like the big-hitting Daly, the prodigious driving Watson is a firm fan favorite who wears his heart on his sleeve with his exciting brand of golf. He has the common touch and is not afraid to engage with the galleries.

Slim but loose-limbed, Watson has long been regarded by his peers as an extraordinary natural talent.

Following his emotional playoff victory over Louis Oosthuizen at the Masters on Sunday, he is now likely to make a much wider impact on the game because of his attacking approach and astonishing creativity.

"I just play golf. I attack. I always attack," Watson told reporters after edging out South African Oosthuizen at the second extra hole where he conjured a miraculous hook shot from pine straw with a gap wedge from 155 yards.

"I don't like to go to the centre of the greens. I want to hit the incredible shot. Who doesn't? That's why we play the game of golf, to pull off the amazing shot."

Watson's shot with from the pine trees on Sunday certainly amazed as it curved 40 yards from left to right before the ball settled on the green 10 feet from the pin. That set up a two-putt par for the American, and was good enough to beat Oosthuizen's bogey for the title.   Continued...

Bubba Watson of the U.S. (L) waves while wearing his green jacket after winning as Augusta National Golf Club Chairman William Porter Payne (R) applauds after the 2012 Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 8, 2012. REUTERS/Phil Noble