By Larry Fine
AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Bubba Watson, who put his name into the Masters history book with a thrilling win last year, made another splash at Augusta National on Sunday.
Make that three splashes, as he dunked his ball three times into Rae's Creek at the 155-yard, par-three 12th hole on his way to a seven-over-par 10 on the shortest hole at Augusta National.
"If you're not going to win, you've got to get in the record books somehow," Watson said after posting a final-round 77 for a seven-over 295. "So I'm a guy that got a double-digit score on a par-three."
Watson won the Masters with one of the most memorable shots in 77 years of the tournament, hooking a wedge shot from deep in the trees right of the 10th fairway onto the green to set up victory on the second hole of a playoff with Louis Oosthuizen.
This time he took nine to reach the green of the short 12th.
Watson rinsed a nine-iron off the tee to start. He hit next from the drop area, about 66 yards from the green, and came up short and wet again.
He went back to the drop area for his fifth shot, which he put into the back bunker. From there, he splashed out too strong and ran through the green, down the bank and back in the drink.
Watson went back to the bunker and knocked his eighth shot safely out into the rough, giving the water a wide berth. He chipped about 20 feet past the hole and one-putted for his 10.
The fun-loving Watson, who began the day 12 strokes off the pace in his final round as defending champion, said his struggles did not put a damper on the Masters Sunday experience.
After all, South Korean Kevin Na also took a 10 at the 12th.
"I enjoyed it. Who wouldn't enjoy it?" said Watson. "I was playing Sunday, so no matter what place I finished I was going to get a paycheck, so I'll be able to eat this week.
"No matter what, unless I make them mad, I'm coming back for the rest of my life," he said about the tradition of former champions returning to Augusta National.
"I'll be here and I'll have a green jacket sitting in my locker room. You can't get mad at the situation.
"You're always considered a Masters champion."
(Editing by Frank Pingue)