Watson storms home to seal two-shot win at Riviera

Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:11pm EST
 
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - Bubba Watson was rewarded for his impressive early season form when he stormed to his first PGA Tour title since the 2012 Masters with a two-shot victory at the Northern Trust Open on Sunday.

Four strokes off the pace going into the final round, the American left-hander seized control with five birdies in the first eight holes on the way to a flawless seven-under-par 64 at a sun-splashed Riviera Country Club.

Watson, who has long relished playing at the revered venue despite never having posted a top-10 finish in seven previous starts, capped his round in style, rolling in a 14-foot birdie putt at the last to post a 15-under total of 269.

"I am hitting the ball really well ... and it worked out this week," an elated Watson told CBS Sports after clinching his fifth PGA Tour title and the winner's check for $1.206 million.

"Things are great right now," said the American, who went bogey-free at Riviera over the weekend as he fired successive 64s.

Watson's final round was the lowest by a champion at Riviera since Doug Tewell's 63 in 1986 sealed a seven-shot victory.

He came into the tournament having recorded two top-10s in his first four starts on the 2013-14 PGA Tour, his best finish a tie for second at the Phoenix Open earlier this month.

"Today, I got hot early, holed a bunker shot on six to really get it going and went bogey-free in the last round," said Watson.   Continued...

 
February 16, 2014; Pacific Palisades, CA, USA; Bubba Watson poses with the winners trophy following his victory of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports