Bubba Watson has never been one for smooth, predictable finishes, and the last few holes of the WGC-HSBC Champions Sunday in Shanghai were no different.
The reigning Masters champion held a two-shot lead with two holes remaining, but made a double bogey on the par-3 17th after leaving his second shot in the bunker.
One-shot back with one to play, Bubba Golf kicked into full gear. Watson reached the left greenside bunker in two shots, then proceeded to hole-out a perfectly played bunker shot for a 3. And this was after he backed off the shot, distracted by cameras.
Bubba used this Ping prototype wedge for his third-shot at 18, undoubtedly the most crucial shot of the tournament.
Yes, Watson went on to make a 20-foot birdie putt to win the event, but without the closing eagle, all we’d remember is Bubba’s double-bogey gaffe on 17 that cost him his first WGC title.
Also propelling Watson, as it typically does when he’s playing well, was the 36-year-old’s Ping G30 driver. Driving distance statistics were not available via the PGA Tour’s ShotLink database, but the European Tour did have this to say on Twitter.
Bubba Watson led the #HSBCChampions in driving distance with an average of 315 yards (11 more than anyone else!) pic.twitter.com/IdeAG2nTS1
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 9, 2014
Watson usually has no problem swinging away, but the wide fairways at Sheshan International seemed to have given him some additional confidence. Here’s the Ping G30 he used last week:
Bubba led the tour in driving distance in 2013-14, outpacing Dustin Johnson by an average of 3.3 yards at 314.3. That makes his 11-yard advantage at Sheshan all the more impressive.
Bubba's other winning gear at the HSBC:
FAIRWAY WOODS: PING G25 (16.5°) with Fujikura Motore Speeder Tour Spec shaft
IRONS: PING S55 (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
PUTTER: PING Anser Milled
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x Prototype