Bubba's wonder shot sets up double triumph in China
Willie Grace | 11/10/2014, 6 a.m. | Updated on 11/10/2014, 6 a.m.
(CNN) -- Bubba Watson secured his first World Golf Championship title and first win outside of the United States Sunday -- but in typical fashion took his own very individual route to an unlikely victory.
The two-time Masters champion held a two-shot lead with three holes to play in the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai before going bogey-double bogey to trail by one playing the 18th at the Sheshan International course.
His hopes looked over when his second shot to the par-five found a green side bunker but the 36-year-old American had one more moment of magic left in his locker.
He blasted the ball onto the green and then watched as it rolled 25-feet into the cup for an eagle three.
That left him tied on 11-under 277 with South African Tim Clark and a playoff followed over the same 18th hole.
A pumped up Watson was not to be denied and a 20-foot birdie putt was enough for him to secure his seventh career victory and third of 2014, including the Masters at Augusta.
"For me this is the big one," Watson told the European Tour website.
"It's very big because I always wanted to win outside the U.S."
Watson said the his wonder shot on the final hole of regulation play came as a surprise even to him.
"It was such a tough bunker shot you are not really thinking about making it, but I told my caddie it's been a wild day, a wild couple of holes, but if we can make this it changes everything and it went in like a putt."
Overnight leader Graeme McDowell, who had been at the head of affairs since the first day, saw his chances disappear with a final round 73 to end in a tie for third with American Rickie Fowler and Hiroshi Iwata of Japan.
All three also had chances on the final hole of at least joining the playoff, but Fowler found the water while McDowell and Iwata could not make the requisite birdie.
U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer was another in the mix, but he found the water on the 18th with his second shot and made a double bogey seven to finish in a tie for sixth on eight under with England's Ian Poulter and Thorbjorn Olesen of Norway.
World number one Rory McIlroy did not take part in the tournament while Watson will rise to third in the rankings after his latest victory.
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