Bubba Shanghai-s Clark
By Torleif Sorenson on 11/10/14
Sometimes, wild rides are fun. This is why roller-coasters and amusement park rides are so popular. But most golfers on the course prefer to avoid them.

On Sunday in Shanghai, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson endured such a wild ride that his final five holes included everything from a double-bogey to an eagle. If you missed it, Watson was one shot behind a gaggle of five golfers after 71 holes. According to a report, Watson told his caddie, "It's been a miserable couple holes here, but this will change everything if it goes in."

That hole-out got him into a playoff with South Africa's Tim Clark, the 2010 Players Championship winner. On the first hole of the sudden-death playoff, Clark's 25-footer for birdie stopped just a few agonizing inches short of the jar. Then, Bubba was facing this long curler for birdie:

The WGC-HSBC Champions has gradually become more and more important in professional golf. Originally, it was an official event on four of the lower-profile professional tours, but it officially became a World Golf Championship event in 2009 when the European Tour gave it status. Now that it is also an official event on the PGA Tour (with a three-year Tour exemption for the winner), it has grown in importance. A number of fans and writers now consider it "Asia's major."

Given golf's exploding popularity in China and around the Pacific Rim, this is a rather welcome development — regardless of who wins.

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