AUGUSTA — Louis Oosthuizen made Masters history Sunday – but he won’t have a souvenir of his rare feat.
After Oosthuizen had a double-eagle 2 on the par-5 second hole Sunday, he collected the ball and tossed it into the crowd of cheering spectators.
Wayne Mitchell might want to buy a lottery ticket. But for now he may have something as valuable. Oosthuizen made only the fourth albatross in Masters history and the first at No. 2.
“Frankly, I wasn’t even thinking about it,” said Mitchell of his thoughts when the ball was en route. “I’m not a souvenir chaser. It was just one of those moments. The ball came at me and I put my hand out and as I was catching it, I thought the worse thing I can do now is drop it. I could feel there were 100 people behind me that might actually want it.”
The shot moved Oosthuizen from 7 to 10 under par and he grabbed the lead in the final round. His drive landed on the left side of the fairway. His 4-iron approach from 253 yards, landed on the front of the green and rolled along the slope almost 100 feet to the back right pin.
Oosthuizen threw his arms into the air after the ball dropped into the cup. After retrieving the ball, he threw it into the crowd.
Mitchell was escorted away by Augusta National members for possible negotiations for the piece of history.
“I don’t know yet,” Mitchell said of his plans for the ball. “Right now, it’s happily sitting in my pocket. I haven’t thought about it but I need to be respectful of the club here. I will certainly listen.”
Hours later Craig Heatley, the Augusta National media committee chairman, said Mitchell gave the ball to the club without anything in return.
– Chris Vivlamore and Doug Roberson, AJC