AUGUSTA, Ga. – With three quarters of a century’s worth of tournaments held among the azaleas at Augusta National, significant, momentous and historical locations dot every single hole.
Now there’s a new one, buried deep in the pines to the right of the 10th green. It’s where the most recent significant shot of the Masters was struck, where Bubba Watson stood on the second hole of a playoff and envisioned an approach shot that didn’t just border on ridiculous, it crossed the line entirely.
Just to refresh your memory:
“A lot of professional golfers can see it,” Watson said of the shot on Tuesday. “A lot of people can see it. Doing it’s the hard part.”
Watson used a combination of a wedge, a hook and a canny placement into the side of the green’s hill to pull off one of the finest shots in golf history, to say nothing of Masters lore. And as a result, the spot in the pines has become Augusta National’s latest tourist spot.
Throughout the early days of Masters week, practice-round patrons ducked away from the 10th fairway to get their own looks at the shot, many shaking their heads in disbelief. And at least a few of them got a pointer from Watson himself.
“Sunday when me and my wife were playing, we were coming down off of 18 tee, there as a group of guys over there,” he said Tuesday. “I yelled at them and I said, ‘No, that’s not the spot, it’s a little over.’” Turns out that one of the men in the trees was golfing legend Billy Casper; even golf’s icons want to see what in the world Watson pulled off.
Well, not all of them. “I haven’t looked over there,” laughed Tiger Woods. “Don’t want to be over there.”
Some golfers have no problem replaying their most impressive shots; the other golfing Watson, Tom, used to take friends and colleagues out to No. 17 at Pebble Beach to try the chip shot that won him the 1982 U.S. Open. So will Watson ever try to replicate his miracle shot?
“Not on purpose,” he smiled. ”I have to try to get my name to keep going throughout history, so I don’t want to hit it again. I don’t want anybody to see the bad shots.”
On Monday, Padraig Harrington wandered down to the site of the shot and wondered why there is no plaque marking the spot. While Watson noted that he would never seek a plaque on his own, he allowed that it would be fun to have one there:
"Who wouldn't want to see a plaque that says 'Bubba' in the middle of the pine straw?"