Bunker eagled helps Watson to land title after McDowell fades

Frank Dalleres
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MASTERS winner Bubba Watson toasted a miraculous eagle from a bunker after landing his third title of the season in dramatic fashion at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai yesterday.

Watson beat South Africa’s Tim Clark at the first hole of a play-off, but only after holing a heroic three from the sand at the par-five 18th that kept him in contention for the £880,000 first prize.

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell finished in a three-man tie for third with American Rickie Fowler and Japan’s Hiroshi Iwata after seeing his overnight lead evaporate with a final-round 73.

“It was such a tough bunker shot you are not really thinking about making it,” Watson said of his eagle. “But I told my caddie it’s been a wild day, a wild couple of holes – if we can make this it changes everything and it went in like a putt.”

Watson appeared to have squandered his chances at the second leg of the European Tour’s Final Series when he followed a bogey at 16 with a double-bogey at the next – only to then make up two shots and tie for the lead on 11 under.

McDowell insisted he had been lucky to remain in contention having failed to find top form all week. “To be brutally honest, I didn’t have my A game all week,” he said. “And the golf course just got so difficult this weekend. The pins were evil at times.”

The Tour moves to Antalya this week for the Turkish Airlines Open, the penultimate event of the season, before the lucrative finale of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.