In some cases, touring pros would prefer to be in a green side bunker than in a difficult position below the green or over the green. Generally greens are built tilted toward the fairway so anything over the green could be a down hill chip which is never easy.
The key to bunker play is controlling the speed of the ball when it flies out to the intended target landing area. In order to accomplish controlling the speed of the golf ball one needs to slip the golf club just underneath the golf ball and take as little sand possible and maintain the golf club face upward or skyward throughout. An open golf club face or turned clockwise at address is very important. The more you open the club face the shorter the ball will travel and the higher it will travel.
Take a look at a video I attached to this Blog entry that might help you with the technique of getting out of the sand.