Watson storms to win at Northern Trust Open|
Pacific Palisades, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Bubba Watson fired his second
straight 7-under 64 on Sunday to claim a 2-stroke victory at the Northern
Watson earned his fifth career PGA Tour victory and first since the 2012
Masters at 15-under-par 269.
"I've been playing well, been hitting the ball really well and been working on
my putting a little bit," said Watson. "It's been 10 years since I've changed
irons and I finally went to the (Ping) S55s and somehow my bad shots turned
out good, so it worked out this week."
Dustin Johnson carded a 5-under 66 during his final round at Riviera Country
Club to jump into second place at 13-under 271.
Brian Harman (68) and Jason Allred (68) shared third at 12-under, while Charl
Schwartzel (68) captured fifth at minus-11.
Third-round leader William McGirt stumbled to a 2-over 73 on Sunday to fall
into a tie for sixth place with Matt Every (67), George McNeill (71) and Bryce
Molder (67) at 10-under 274.
McGirt entered the final round with a 2-stroke lead at 12-under and opened the
day with a birdie at the first to maintain that advantage. Charlie Beljan also
birdied the first to move to minus-11.
Watson, meanwhile, capped a run of three birdies over a four-hole stretch from
the first with a 16-foot putt at the fourth to also pull within two of the
The group of players tied for second place would eventually reach five before
Watson recovered from an errant tee shot into a greenside bunker at the par-3
sixth by holing out his second shot to meet McGirt at 12-under.
McGirt had bogeyed the second to lose his 2-shot advantage.
The top of the leaderboard remained congested when Harman birdied the sixth
and Schwartzel converted a 22-foot birdie putt at the eighth to make it a
four-way tie for the lead.
Watson then jumped ahead for good with a 16-foot birdie putt at the eighth as
Harman bogeyed the 10th and McGirt bogeyed the ninth to fall off the pace.
Watson picked up another shot at the 11th to claim a 2-stroke lead at 14-under
before Johnson, who recorded birdies at Nos. 1, 7 and 9 during an outward 32,
followed an 8-foot birdie effort at the 11th with a short birdie putt at the
15th to pull within a shot of the lead.
Watson gave Johnson a chance to claim a share of the lead with a streak of six
straight pars, but Johnson closed his round with a trio of pars and Watson
converted a 14-foot birdie putt at the last to close out the win.
"I had a chance there on the back nine today and I just didn't really have
good luck on 16, 17 and 18 to give myself a chance," Johnson said. "But I was
still right there and that's all you can ask for."
NOTES: Watson was the only player in the field to not have a bogey on the
weekend ... Schwartzel has not recorded a win since claiming the title at the
2011 Masters ... Allred, who was making his 58th career start on tour, earned
his first career top-10 finish ... Johnson also finished in second place last
week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am ... Watson has come from behind
in four of his five career wins ... Six of the last seven events on the
schedule have been won by one stroke.
02/16 19:55:56 ET