At the 15th, Bubba Watson had the number one rank and the Memorial tournament trophy in his hands.
However, such is the way with the sport; one bad shot was all it took for him to slip from a player who looked certain to win in Ohio, to one who couldn’t make up the ground on the leaders.
A wayward tee shot on the 15th, which landed in the back-garden of a nearby house, was ultimately to prove costly – destroying his lead and, in-turn, his chances to leapfrog Adam Scott at the top of the golfing ranks.
Prior to that hole, Watson had looked like he had done enough to build on the lead that he had already established over the previous rounds during the competition.
Watson went into the Sunday’s day of play having held an overnight lead, but could not capitalise on his success over the first 54 holes – a problem that he has had throughout his entire career - and could only shot a level par 72, to leave him at 12 under for the tournament, one shot behind the thirteen-under mark required to be in with a chance of winning.
And the American was understandably disappointed with the drive that cost him, having come so close to another success in a season that is turning it to be a very memorable one for him.
“[I made] one bad decision and it cost me two shots,'' he said to reporters in Ohio, after completing Sunday’s round.
"I hit it pretty hard, obviously, and when it didn't hit a tree, I knew it was going out of bounds.'
"[I was] trying to be a hero. It's not a comfortable tee shot for me, because I like to cut it. I was trying to go over the tree and I just pulled it.”
Ultimately, though, he will look back on the week as a good one. Watson has already claimed a major victory– at the Masters – and a win at the Northern Trust Open, alongside six other top ten finishes, in his campaign to date and, even if he had no title to represent his play this week, it is another result which highlights that he is amongst the most in-form players on the tour at the moment.
He eventually finished one shot behind the talented, Japanese youngster Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Na this week, though.
The pair battled it out in a playoff, but Matsuyama came out on top and claimed his first PGA Tour triumph in the process.
Watson was evidently disappointed not to make the playoff after he finished his round, with anguish clear to see on his face when he closed for a round of 72.
The two-time major champion had not made a score over 69 in the three day’s previous and only needed to recreate that sort of form to ensure victory today, but found the going tough in the closing stages – like most of the field in what was a dramatic climax to the tournament.
His attention will now to turn to the US Open, where he will be hoping to complete his second major success of the year and secure that number one spot that he was so close to this Sunday in style.
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