Bubba storms home for 5th PGA Tour title
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2014 Northern Trust Open | Wrap | 17 Feb 2014
Bubba Watson won his fifth PGA Tour title and his first since the 2012 Masters with a two shot victory over Dustin Johnson at the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.
Monday qualifier, Jason Allred, tied with Brian Harman for third another shot behind that pair with Charl Schwartzel alone in 5th.
Watson came from a long way off the pace through 36 holes with consecutive bogey free weekend rounds of 64 to sweep past a large percentage of the field. He began the final day four shots behind William McGirt but with an outward nine of 30 he was the man to beat. At that point he was tied in the lead with lefthander Brian Harman although Harman who would still enjoy a great week was unable to finish it off.
Johnson emerged as a threat late in the day but Watson was able to hold him at bay.
Interestingly in seven previous starts in the event, Watson has never recorded a top ten and has missed the cut or not completed the event on four of those occasions so this was quite a turnaround at Riviera for the 35 year old.
He was however in good form coming off a runner-up finish at the recent Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Earlier in the week Watson acknowledged his lack of success on the golf course but also his liking for it.
“I love it,” he said. "I’ve never played very good here but I love it. I’ve never putted as well as I want to but I love the layout. I love the old school layout. I love the history behind it. I love that they have not tinkered with it too much.
“I don’t like when they start changing it but if they want to change No. 10, they can. I just don’t like when people start changing stuff. Just let it go. If people are going to shoot 30 under, let them shoot 30 under.
This place has not changed much. They added a few tees here and there but we don’t use the tee on 2. It’s stayed pretty much true to itself."
Watson improved 12 places in the world ranking to 14th.
Former winner Aaron Baddeley and John Senden tied as the leading Australians in 18th position.
The PGA Tour now moves to Arizona for the Accenture Match Play Championship.