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Remembering the shot

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Remembering the shot

By Leonard ShapiroCSNWashington.com

The Shot.

It will always be The Shot that defined the 2012 Masters.

And were not talking about Louis Oosthuizens second shot at the par 5 second hole Sunday when his perfectly struck 4-iron from 253 yards out hit the green and rolled another 80 feet before dropping into the cup for only the fourth double eagle in tournament history.

That surely would have been The Shot if Oosthuizen had managed to beat Bubba Watson in a sudden death playoff. But it was Watson who stole the show, and most definitely earned his green jacket, with his second shot wedge from out of the woods on the second hole of the playoff.

How did he pull it off?

The best explanation Ive seen came from Watson himself in his rollicking pre-tournament press conference at last weeks Zurich Classic, where he was the defending champion.

Let's just go back to in Bagdad, Florida, where I grew up, Watson began. The big, tall 100-year-old trees, I had plastic golf balls, so I just learned to hit in the trees, throughout the trees, over the trees, under the trees. So when it comes to the creativity on the golf course, that's just who I am. That's just what I've done. So that doesn't scare me. It thrills me because then I can pull off some shots. That's more exciting. I don't care if the fans were there or what, just to pull that shot off -- if I was just playing with my buddies I'd want
to pull that shot off.

The shot, again, was roughly say 40 yards. Could have been more, could have been less, but we're going to go with 40. Just off the pine straw, knew it was going to come out pretty hot. I could make it come out hot, just rolled my wrist over and hooked it about 40 yards, but somehow it got closer to the hole. We were looking at the front of the green. It was 135 to the front of the green so we were just looking at getting to the center of the green.

For me it was just something as a child I'm used to seeing shots like that, so I pulled it off. To get that close was very special. I mean, made it work out. I was expecting front of the green, maybe center of the green at best because you never expect it to be that close. But it came off and I couldn't see it. I ran to the fairway and I heard them roar, and I said (to his caddy) where is it? He said, you see it about 15 feet, and I couldn't see it at first, and finally, he's got real good eyes so I couldn't see it. So I saw it, and I go whew, I'm pretty good.

That's how it all went down. Those shots, I try to pull off the amazing shot, just like we've seen Mickelson pull off shots, Tiger pull off shots, everybody that's won you've seen pull off shots like that. It's something you want to try to pull off, and somehow I did.

Watson went back to being a mere mortal in New Orleans, finishing tied for 18th place after a final round 70. And now the question being asked all around the wide world of golf is this. Was his victory at Augusta National an aberration, or a true coming out party for a man who has never had a formal lesson and is clearly among the most creative players of his generation?

Are we seeing the next Phil Mickelson, a four-time major champion and Hall of Famer, or Sergio Garcia, so creative but still looking for his first major title and even questioning whether he will ever have the right stuff to pull it off?

Personally, I believe Bubba is the real deal and Bubba Golfif I have a swing, I have a shot, he sayswill remain the staple of his daring game. Im hardly alone in that opinion. Listen to long-time golf instructor John Jacobs, who told Golf World magazine recently that if golf is controlling ball flightand I firmly believe that it isthen Bubba is one of the best Ive ever seen.

He knows exactly what he is doing to the ball, and thats the mark of a great player. Yes his swing is unorthodox, but I wouldnt change him at all. I would never change him until he plays badly. He is ever so much better than he looks. Believe me, theres genius there.

After The Shot at Augusta National, I believe. I believe.

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Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Following the Redskins' Week 2 preseason win over the Jets on Thursday, Jay Gruden said both Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine were "OK" after the two running backs each left the game with injuries. Marshall's was labeled a lower-leg issue, while Perine's injury was called a twisted ankle.

Timetables for their recoveries were then reported on Friday, and while the two members of the backfield escaped anything too severe, they will each be sidelined for decent chunks of time.

Perine will miss a week, according to Mike Garafolo. Marshall, meanwhile, is looking at a longer two-to-four week recovery, per Tom Pelissero. Those pieces of news hurt them in more ways than one.

Derrius Guice's torn ACL in Week 1 of the team's exhibition schedule meant that Marshall and Perine both had a big-time opportunity to step up and earn a spot on Washington's 53-man roster, spots that were harder to envision for them when Guice was healthy.

Overall, the two were slated to compete with Kapri Bibbs for what will likely be two spaces on the depth chart behind the absolutely safe Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley. Now, though, they'll be forced to sit until they're healed up, giving Bibbs more chances in practice and the two remaining August contests to earn Jay Gruden's trust.

Against New York, Bibbs struggled on the ground but led the offense with seven grabs, including a 29-yard gain off a screen play. That performance absolutely brought him closer in the race with Marshall, who scored vs. the Patriots a week earlier. Next, he'll need to prove he can run effectively between the tackles vs. the Broncos in Week 3, which will put some heat on Perine as well.

The 'Skins have 15 days left until they have to finalize their regular season roster. As things stand now amongst the running backs, Bibbs presently has a real shot at stealing a job from the two shelved RBs. But with the way this race has unfolded thus far, that can all change in a split second. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

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Redskins 53-man roster projection, ver. 2.0

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Redskins 53-man roster projection, ver. 2.0

<< Click here to see Redskins 53-man roster projection ver. 2.0 >>

The Redskins are halfway through the preseason and the first two games may have done more to muddy the waters when it comes to who will make the 53-man roster than they did to clarify things. 

Here is my second training camp prediction of who will make the final cut for the Redskins. See where players are safe and where the hot spots are for competition. 

Among the big battles taking shape:

—An injury and one player’s impressive preseason have juggled the wide receiver depth chart. 

—With Orlando Scandrick cut, the cornerback position looks set but the rookies had better not do anything to shake the coaches’ confidence in them. 

—There are seven safeties who may be worthy of roster spots, but only four are likely to make it. 

—Despite the Hogan-led rally last night, it still looks like the roster will have only two QBs. 

<< Click here to see Redskins 53-man roster projection ver. 2.0 >>

Redskins 2018 news:

-Redskins vs Jets: Must-see photos from the game
-Analysis: Five Redskins-Jets observations

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler