VIDEO: Four moments to set you up for the drama of the Masters

It's not all ancient history at the Masters.

VIDEO: Four moments to set you up for the drama of the Masters

By Simon Lewis

It's not all ancient history at the Masters.

Of course, the fabled major is steeped in mystique and legend but you don't have to be a golfing nerd to summon some Masters magic, and misery.

Here are four Masters moments of a more recent vintage.

2014 – Bubba Lets Rip

Last year's Masters was not a vintage one by the tournament's remarkably high standards, but Bubba Watson's drive on the par-five 13th was a shot to savour, neatly encapsulating how well Augusta National sets up for the big-hitting left-hander.

With a right to left dog-leg and trees on either side of the fairway, it should be a perilous tee shot and most players who get it right can get their ball to the corner, leaving them with a four or five-iron approach.

Watson's drive ignored that strategy completely, the 2012 champion launching his 350-yard tee shot straight over the trees inside the dog-leg and leaving him with just a sand wedge into the green.

With one shot, Watson had emerged as the champion in waiting and he went on to collect a green jacket for the second time.

2013 – Great Scott

The pursuit of a Masters green jacket had become an almost national obsession in Australia as a country waited for one of its golfing heroes to get over the line at Augusta National.

So for Adam Scott, who grew up idolising Greg Norman and sharing in the misery of his near-misses in the Masters, there was plenty of baggage attached as he went into a twilight play-off with Argentina's Angel Cabrera.

He'd had the chance to win it at the 72nd hole but now he was into sudden death and when he got a second chance at the 18th, Scott held his nerve.

The instinctive roar the emanating from the Queenslander's throat summed it up perfectly: “C'mon Aussie!”

2012 – Bubba's Miracle Escape

The unconvential, uncoached professional from Bagdad, Florida, had been locked in a duel with South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen throughout the final round, beating the field by two strokes, and that head-to-head went into a sudden-death play-off at Augusta National when Watson finally broke the deadlock at the second extra hole, the 10th.

It had looked to be Oosthuizen's day when the American found the woods to the right of the fairway with his monster tee shot, but the creativity of the rescue shot was jaw-droppingly spectacular.

Somehow, out of the pine straw, left-hander Watson engineered a perfectly judged hook, first out of a narrow, 40-yard chute and then around a wall of pine trees, the ball making a sharp right turn and finding the green for the putts that would make him a Masters champion.

It was Bubba Golf writ large, Watson's mantra being: “If I have a swing, I've got a shot.”

2011 – That McIlroy Meltdown

For three long days Rory McIlroy had dominated Augusta National, processing through the cathedral in the pines like the 21-year-old prince who was seemingly ready to be crowned Masters king.

The fourth day, though, was a different matter.

A nervy start with a bogey at the first followed by some jittery moments on the front nine.

Yet still, McIlroy had the lead at the turn and he teed up at the 10th in control of his destiny, nine holes from a maiden major victory.

What followed was car-crash viewing, the drive hitting a tree on the left and cannoning further left into the cabins that line the fairway on the way to a triple bogey.

And it didn't stop there, the young Irishman unravelled before a global television audience in excruciating Technicolour.

He would finish with an 80 as Charl Schwartzel became Masters champion.

Horrible to watch, although as we know, redemption would not be long in coming.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox