Albatross leaves Oosthuizen's head spinning
Louis Oosthuizen's best shot at the Masters today might also have been his worst. Like the galleries that roared with excitement at his amazing albatross, Oosthuizen could not get it out of his mind.
The South African thought his incredible shot, when he holed out from 235 yards on the par-5 second hole, was a sure sign that it was his lucky day and he was going to win the green jacket.
No matter how hard he tried, he could not clear his mind and his game started to suffer. He bogeyed the fourth then dropped another shot at the 10th and suddenly his two-shot lead was gone.
"It was tough after that double-eagle. When something like that happens early in your round, you think that this is it," he told reporters.
"That was my first double-eagle ever. So it was tough over the next five holes to just get my head around it and just play the course.
"But I felt like I found my rhythm going down 11, and you know, played well from there."
Oosthuizen, who won the 2010 British Open by seven shots, putted beautifully throughout the tournament and drained a series of pressure putts to stay in front.
But he could not shake off playing partner Bubba Watson and the pair finished tied at 10-under-par with Oosthuizen signing for a final round 69.
They went to a playoff but it was then, when it mattered most, that his good fortune deserted him.
He narrowly missed a birdie putt on the first playoff hole that would have given him the title.
"I don't feel like I could have hit two better putts in the playoff," said Oosthuizen. "It's a hard day, but you know, congrats to Bubba. He did brilliantly."
On the second extra hole, the odds looked to be in Oosthuizen's favour when Watson drove into the trees.
But Oosthuizen, who had himself played one of the greatest shots ever at Augusta National, could only watch as Watson produce a miracle shot of his own from the pine straw that finished in the middle of the green.
When Oosthuizen missed his difficult downhill par putt, Watson had two putts to win. The American needed them both but the victory was his.
"He must have a great feel of the game," Oosthuizen said.
"I mean, it's great knowing you almost have every little shot there is. It's really entertaining to play with him, to see the shots that he's taking on and shots that I don't really see or I would ever hit.
"He hit the driver so well today, and you know, takes on a lot of holes. He backs himself, and it's nice to see, it's really good to see."