Bubba Watson beats Tim Clark in play-off to win WGC event

Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson was two shots back after the third round in Shanghai
WGC-HSBC Champions final leaderboard
-11 T Clark (SA), B Watson (US) Watson wins on first play-off hole -10 R Fowler (US), H Iwata (Jap), G McDowell (NI) -8 I Poulter (Eng), T Oleson (Den), M Kaymer (Ger) -7 M Leishman (Aus); Selected others:-5 A Scott (Aus) -3 L Westwood (Eng) -1 J Donaldson (Wal), T Fleetwood (Eng), S Gallacher (Sco) +2 L Donald (Eng) +5 J Rose (Eng)

Bubba Watson won his first WGC title after a dramatic play-off victory over South African Tim Clark in Shanghai.

The American, 36, had looked out of contention when he bogeyed the 16th and had a double bogey at the 17th.

But he holed his third shot from the bunker at the par-five 18th to put him into the play-off and then birdied it in the play-off to secure victory.

Graeme McDowell, who had led from the first round, saw his chance disappear after a 73 to be in a group one back.

Clark had looked in pole position when he hit his third shot to the par-five 18th to four feet but his birdie and Watson's eagle meant they were tied on 11 under.

The final group of McDowell, Martin Kaymer and Hiroshi Iwata needed to birdie the last to join the play-off but Kaymer's chances disappeared when his approach flew over the green into the water, while McDowell and Iwata missed from 18 and 12 feet respectively.

In the play-off Watson found the same greenside bunker with his second shot after Clark had hit his third to around 20 feet.

Watson was unable to repeat his efforts from the sand but after Clark had left his birdie attempt short, the left-hander holed his birdie putt to seal victory.

"For me this is the big one," Watson said after his third win of 2014. "It's very big because I always wanted to win outside the US. It's my seventh win, gets me closer to 10 wins which has always been my goal. It's a World Golf Championship, so when you add it all up it means a lot."

Bubba Watson with the trophy
Watson's win sees him become the 14th player to win a Major and a WGC

Speaking about the 72nd hole, the 2012 and 2014 Masters winner added: "It was such a tough bunker shot. You are not really thinking about making it, but I told my caddie it's been a wild day, a wild couple of holes, but if we can make this it changes everything and it went in like a putt."

Clark was left to rue missing a short birdie putt on the 16th but the South African admitted: "I never expected to be in this position at the start of the week. I fought hard. I knew I needed to birdie that play-off hole, especially with him [Watson] being able to reach.

"Obviously disappointed to be that close but I'm pleased overall. I just tried to play this course smart and in the end it was enough to give me a shout."

McDowell, who led by three at the halfway stage and by one shot going into the final round, was another to reflect on missed chances

"To be brutally honest, I didn't have my 'A' game all week," said the Northern Irishman.

"The golf course just got so difficult this weekend. The pins were evil at times and you really had to be on your iron play to have a chance to access them and I didn't play well enough, simple as that.

"To finish tied third in this type of field, not playing my best, I have to count myself fairly fortunate."

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