Oosthuizen’s hand beat a pair of aces
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Rarely is a hole-in-one upstaged, much less two of them. But when it comes to shot of the day, Adam Scott and Bo Van Pelt had to settle for joint second, behind Louis Oosthuizen’s double eagle on No. 2.
Van Pelt and Scott, playing roughly two hours apart, both made aces on the 16th hole, with its traditional Sunday pin placement on the left side, at the base of a slope and cut just over the bunker. Van Pelt hit past the hole and used the hill for his hole-in-one; Scott barely cleared the bunker, his ball releasing forward and then disappearing.
They were the 22d and 23d aces in Masters history, and the most (15) have come at No. 16.
The hole-in-one was the second Sunday eagle on the back nine for Van Pelt, who made a 3 at the par-5 13th and shot an 8-under-par 64, the low round of the tournament. It’s the second straight year Van Pelt made two back-nine eagles in the final round.
Van Pelt almost matched Oosthuizen with a double eagle; his 5-iron second shot from the second cut on the 13th stopped 4 inches short of the cup.
“When it hit and it was rolling right at it - I’ve never made a double eagle - and as it was rolling, I thought, holy cow, I’m going to make a 2 at Augusta on a par 5,’’ Van Pelt said.
He didn’t get the 2, but wrote down a 1 three holes later.
Scott shot 66, his lowest at the Masters, eclipsing the 67-67 weekend from last year, when he tied for second.
“I’m really happy to leave having my best round ever at Augusta, but a little disappointed that I couldn’t put it together earlier in the week,’’ said Scott, who used the 66 to jump from a tie for 32d into a tie for eighth.
Roller coaster ride
Patrick Cantlay never will forget the even-par 72 he shot in the final round that enabled him to claim low amateur honors by two shots over Hideki Matsuyama. Maybe not the score, but definitely the way he got there.
The UCLA sophomore had as up-and-down a day as any you’ll see. It included two eagles, five birdies, six pars, three bogeys, one double bogey, and a quadruple bogey. In a seven-hole stretch, starting on No. 11, Cantlay’s card read 5-2-9-6-3-2-3. That’s bogey-birdie-quadruple bogey-double bogey-eagle-birdie-birdie. He had four 2s on his card, including an eagle at the par-4 seventh hole, but then put two balls in the water at No. 13 on his way to a 9.
“I had a bunch of highs and lows,’’ said Cantlay, who tied for 47th at 7 over. “But 72 is not too bad. It’s just really bad considering I played really well today.’’
Matsuyama began the round six shots up on Cantlay, but had just one birdie and shot 80. US Amateur champion Kelly Kraft also had 80, and finished 18 over.
Better late . . .
Keegan Bradley saved his best for last, making a birdie on No. 18 and shooting a 69, after opening with 71-77-73. The PGA champion and Hopkinton High graduate tied for 27th at 2 over, but saw his major streak end at one, dropping him to .500, a number he said he’s still OK with. It was also a learning experience.
“Augusta beat me up pretty bad,’’ Bradley said. “I definitely think this is a course I can play well at. I learned a bunch out there this week just, you know, shots that I thought were perfect that were a little off. Some holes maybe I’ll hit 3-wood on next year.’’
He kept 3-wood in the bag on No. 18, a hole that had given him fits for the first three rounds, when he played it 3 over. He chose driver, and let his mind wander a bit, by design.
“I wanted to hit a good drive on 18. I kind of told myself, ‘Just imagine you’ve got a one-shot lead here,’ maybe for the future, and I striped it,’’ Bradley said. “I needed that for maybe years to come.’’
About the only positive Tiger Woods could take from his tie for 41st was his birdie at No. 18, allowing him to avoid his worst 72-hole score in 18 Masters. Woods closed with a 74, and finished at 5-over 293 - the same total from his 1995 debut, when he was an amateur.
“Well, you’re not going to play well every week. Unfortunately, it was this week for me,’’ said Woods, who had won in his previous start, his first PGA Tour win in more than two years. “I had the wrong ball-striking week at the wrong time.’’
For the fourth straight day, Woods failed to make any noise on the par-5 holes, carding one birdie, one bogey, and two pars. He played the par-5s in just 1 under for the week, and failed to make a birdie on either the 13th or 15th.
He’ll be back
Kevin Na birdied No. 18 to shoot 68, which bumped him into a five-way tie for 12th. That’s important because anyone finishing in the top 16 and ties earn invitations for next year’s Masters . . . Luke Donald, the top-ranked player in the world, shot 68 and tied for 32d . . . Spotted in the crowd was Doug Sanders, known as much for his colorful outfits as for his competitive golf career, which included 20 PGA Tour wins and four second-place finishes in the majors. Sanders didn’t disappoint on Sunday: red shoes, red slacks, red shirt, white sweater with red trim. Not many can pull off that look, but Sanders is one.
Michael Whitmer can be reached at email@example.com.