Albatross leaves Oosthuizen's head spinning

07:17, Apr 09 2012
2012 Masters Tournament
Ian Poulter (L) of England talks with his caddie Terry Mundy during a practice round.
2012 Masters Tournament
Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa looks at a shot with his caddie Wynand Stander during a practice round.
2012 Masters Tournament
KJ Choi reacts after holing out a shot from the fairway as his caddie Andy Prodger looks on during a practice round.
2012 Masters Tournament
Tiger Woods and Mark O'Meara practice putts on the green during a practice round.
2012 Masters Tournament
A security gaurd opens the gate to allow patrons entrance during a practice round prior to the start of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National.
2012 Masters Tournament
Magnolia Lane's 60 magnolia trees and the clubhouse are seen at Augusta National Golf Club before The Masters .
2012 Masters Tournament
Lee Westwood of England hits a tee shot on in front of a gallery of patrons during a practice round.
2012 Masters Tournament
Spectators take photos of Tiger Woods during a practice round.
Masters Gallery 2012
Tom Watson hits a tee shot during practice.
Masters Gallery 2012
Rory McIlroy admires an iron shot during practice.
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Big crowds gathered to watch players go through their paces in the practice round prior to the start of the Masters at Augusta National.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
Two children of South African golfer Rory Sabbatini run up the fairway during the pre-US Masters par-three tournament.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
Golf legend Arnold Palmer gives the thumbs up to the gallery at Augusta.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
A trio of greats share a joke during the pre-US Masters par-three tournament. From left, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
Thomas Bjorn (R) and entourage celebrate the Danish golfer's hole-in-one on the ninth hole of the pre-US Masters par-three tournament.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
Tiger Woods splashes out of a sand trap on the 17th hole.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
Sweden's Henrik Stenson during his troubled 18th hole, where a quadruple bogey saw him lose the lead.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
Miguel Angel Jiminez of Spain finds his ball near Rae's Creek in front of the 13th green.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
American Phil Mickelson warns the gallery after an errant tee shot on the fourth hole.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
Phil Mickelson hits his approach shot to the green on the first hole.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
Spectators take up a vantage point behind the first tee on the first day of the US Masters at Augusta.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
First round leader Lee Westwood watches his tee short carefully on the 15th hole.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
American Bubba Watson swings his pink club on the 17th hole tee.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland takes cover on his way to the 16th tee.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
First round leader Lee Westwood of England leads playing partner Vijay Singh of Fiji to the 16th green.
2012 Masters tournament gallery
American Jonathan Byrd hits out of a bunker next to the 18th green.
Fred Couples
Fred Couples walks off the 13th green with his caddie David Kerr.
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia lines up a putt on the 18th green during his four-under round of 68 to get to -4.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods uses some body english to try to coax a putt to move the way he wants.
Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson plays a chip-shot from the front of the 18th green.
Miguel Angel Jiminez
Miguel Angel Jiminez and his caddie Pascual Jiminez walk past the water on the way to the 15th green.
Bae Sang-Moon
South Korea's Bae Sang-Moon chips from between the patrons towards the ninth green.
Lee Westwood
Englishman Lee Westwood tees off on the picturesque 17th tee at Augusta.
Jason Dufner
Second round co-leader Jason Dufner in front of the leaderboard at the 18th hole.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods chips out of the bunker in front of the eighth green during his even par third round.
Peter Hanson
Leader Peter Hanson exchanges clubs with his caddie during the third round.
Louis Oosthuizen
South African Louis Oosthuizen reacts after a wayward tee shot on the 15th hole.
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson pumps his fist after birdieing the 18th hole for the third straight day.
Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar acknowledges the crowd after a birdie at the seventh hole.
Francesco Molinari
Italy's Francesco Molinari ponders what went wrong on his approach shot to the 17th green.
Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy chips from behind the first green during a tough third round.
Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson flips his putter in the air after missing a putt on the 16th green.
Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson of the United States hits a tee shot on the 12th hole during the final round.
Bubba Watson
Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa drives off the eighth tee during the final round.
Bubba Watson
Phil Mickelson of the United States hits a shot out of the rough on the ninth hole during the final round.
Bubba Watson
Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa celebrates with his caddie Wynand Stander after making an albatross on the second hole during the final round.
Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson of the United States lines up a putt as caddie Ted Scott looks on during the final round.
Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson of the United States hugs Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa after Watson won their sudden-death playoff on the second playoff hole to win the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta.
Bubba Watson
Charl Schwartzel of South Africa awards the green jacket to Bubba Watson of the United States during the green jacket presentation after Watson's one-stroke to win the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta.
Bubba Watson
Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa reacts after missig a putt on the second sudden death playoff hole on the 10th during the final round of the 2012 Masters Tournament.
Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson of the US celebrates winning the Masters with his mother Mollie during a playoff in the 2012 Masters Golf Tournament.

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."

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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."

Reuters