Georgia Bulldogs: Bubba Watson proves 1st Masters win is a monumental moment 10 years later

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 08: Bubba Watson of the United States plays at a shot from the rough on second sudden death playoff hole on the 10th during the final round of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 08: Bubba Watson of the United States plays at a shot from the rough on second sudden death playoff hole on the 10th during the final round of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Ten years ago today, former Georgia Bulldogs golfer Bubba Watson won his first major championship, the 2012 Masters Tournament, putting him in the Georgia golf books as the first Dawg to ever win one.

He is still the only Dawg to win a major championship with his two green jackets — 2012 and 2014. Watson may not have won back-to-back, but to win two green jackets in three years is downright memorable.

However, today we’re discussing that 2012 victory and how it’s still one of the most incredible moments in Masters history ten years later. While Watson and five other Dawgs are trying to keep the Year of the Dawg going, we had to reflect on this moment in golf history because it was one of our favorites ever.

We all remember the shot from the pine straw that had to turn just right for it to work, and boy did it. Where that shot took place has a plaque to show people just how incredibly difficult it was and for people to give it a shot themselves.

Georgia Bulldogs’ pro golfer Bubba Watson made history with his first Masters 10 years ago.

On April 8, 2012, Watson beat out Louis Oosthuizen in a playoff to don his first green jacket.

Watson started the week with a 69 and two shots off the lead. The first time in his four starts, he went that low. Two times, Watson has shot under 70 in the first round, which came during his winning years.

Day 2 saw his highest score of the week, a 71, which put him one shot behind Fred Couples and Jason Dufner, who led after 36 holes. Once Watson got into the weekend, he hung tough, recording a third-round 70, which saw him still three shots off the lead.

However, despite never leading the tournament until that final day, something in the air suggested Sunday would be special. Whether that would be Oosthuizen winning another major or whatever, the energy was there.

Peter Hanson and Phil Mickelson were in the final pairing that day, with Watson and Oosthuizen in the group ahead of them.

That Sunday was buzzing, and it was a fantastic day for the former Dawg. One of the best things Watson does is use a pink driver shaft to honor breast cancer survivors. He was a sight in all white and that pink driver but in all the right ways.

Watson said in interviews afterward that he told his caddie he thought he could win the Masters. But by mid-round on Sunday, he just wanted a top-5 finish. Man, did he not realize what incredible events would happen.

Even though Oosthuizen shot an albatross on the par-5 second, Watson never waivered. That shot from the South African put him ahead four shots of Watson, but he didn’t care.

Watson made birdies on 13, 14, 15 and 16 to tie for the lead, all the momentum leaning toward him. However, it wouldn’t be that easy. He hit a terrible tee shot on 17 and had to regain his composure.

He would recover on 17 to save par and made par on the 18th to finish with a final-round 68 and 10-under on the tournament. That score tied Oosthuizen, and the two went into a sudden-death playoff.

This year was one of my favorite memories of the Masters because he fought all Sunday long, made some great shots, even great recovery ones, and got himself into the playoff. I remember being glued to the television wondering if a Georgia player would win the Masters, and he did.

It took two playoff holes for him to win it, but that shot on the second one was the wildest thing yet most creative golf shot that no one predicted would happen.

Watson is one of the most creative shot-shapers in the game. He can make a golf ball do whatever he wants from wherever on the golf course. It didn’t matter that Oosthuizen made an albatross earlier in the round or was even in the playoff because Watson’s shot out of the pine needles overshadowed it all.

That style of play is only known as Bubba-golf, and rightfully so because only he would take that risk. In the video, they say he had 160-yards to the flag, so Watson took out a gap wedge and hit a hook shot that ended up 15-feet away from the hole.

The rest is history. Watson made par while Oosthuizen bogeyed that playoff hole, giving the former Dawg his first major championship and fourth PGA Tour victory.

Like the rest of us, Georgia faithful, Watson cried because he knew what he had just done. It’s an incredible honor to win a green jacket, and Watson made a great champion not once but twice.

The Georgia golfer is in his 14th Masters Tournament and is now a 12-time winner on Tour. This major championship changed his career and turned him into a household name.

There is so much to reflect on the 2012 Masters Tournament, but that playoff shot was what everyone remembered the most. Rightfully so, but those four birdies down the stretch and being able to save par on 17 ultimately set up that memorable moment.

Without Watson surging down the stretch to win the 2012 Masters, who knows what would have happened if he had even won the 2014 Masters. Watson is one of the best out there, on the golf course and off it. He has turned into such a mental health advocate while also growing the game in a positive light.

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As the only Georgia Bulldog major champion, it doesn’t get much better than Bubba Watson. That 2012 Masters win turned him into the golfer we all know and love today. Even 10 years later, we remember that moment like it was yesterday and how special it was.