With the wind gusting and the crowd across the water erupting after Brendon De Jonge holed out from a bunker on 18, Watson backed away from his initial stance.
After stepping back up to his ball, the left-handed Watson attempted a draw that was meant to rise up over the water to the left and curl back into a crosswind toward the front of the green, where the pin was placed. The ball died just a few crucial feet short, plunking the distinctive cypress planks imbedded in the bulkhead along the left side of the green and ricocheting into the water.
Watson then took his third shot from the front of the tee box and wound up with a double bogey, while Simpson made par for a two-shot lead.
When Watson's caddie, Ted Scott, offered a couple words of encouragement, Watson responded, "You don't have to worry about me. I'm in it."
Watson hooked drives to the left on Nos. 10, 11 and 12, but wound up with playable lies and made par on each, losing only one more stroke when Simpson birdied 10.
Simpson's bogey on 12 allowed Watson to make up one shot, then he pulled another shot back with a birdie on 13 that he set up with a bold 321-yard drive over a massive sand trap.
Then came Simpson's penalty on 15, after which Watson shook his head sympathetically before methodically two-putting for par to move into a tie at 15 under with three holes to go.
Simpson didn't let the misfortune rattle him too much, making par on the next three holes, which was good enough to force a playoff after Watson's 9-foot birdie putt for the win came to rest 2 inches from the hole.
Yet Watson, who considers Simpson a good friend, called the penalty, "heartbreaking."
"If I didn't win, he would have been a nice guy to have win," Watson added. "We went to a playoff, so obviously one shot is the difference. ... It's a sad way to win, but I won."
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