Nick Watney fired a superb closing round of 61 to win the CIMB Classic at the The Mines Resort & Golf Club in Malaysia by a single shot from Robert Garrigus and Bo Van Pelt.

Watney began the final round four shots behind his countrymen Garrigus and Van Pelt but, early on Sunday, it was another American making a charge.

Tiger Woods carded five birdies in his first seven holes to pile the pressure on the leaders. Woods’ charge can only have helped Watney as he flew somewhat under the radar while making his own assault on the leaderboard.

But after racing to the turn in 30, then making three straight birdies from the 11th, Watney was tied for the lead. Three more birdies from the 15th put him clear at the top with a serious chance of shooting 59. He needed a birdie at the last to achieve that rare feat.

Watney’s focus was on winning the tournament though and, after driving into the rough on the home hole he couldn’t reach the green in two. He ended up closing with a bogey, but his scintillating 61 proved to be enough to take the title.

“I really wanted to finish strong … but winning the tournament was more important than a 59 for me,” he said.

Tiger Woods was disappointed that his run at the championship came up just shy.

“I needed to get to 20 (under) plus,” he said. “That was the goal score at the end of the day. Looks like Nick went ahead and put it to us.”

Defending champion Van Pelt had a chance of forcing a playoff. He needed to birdie the difficult closing hole to tie Watney’s total. But he found the greenside bunker and did well to save par and finish tied for second with Garrigus.

CIMB Classic
The Mines Resort & Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Oct 25-28, purse $6,100,000, par 71

1   Nick Watney (USA)   71   65   65   61   262   $1,300,000
T2   Robert Garrigus (USA)   64   64   69   66   263   $485,000
T2   Bo Van Pelt (USA)   70   65   62   66   263   $485,000

T4   Tiger Woods (USA)   66   67   69   63   265   $265,000
T4   Brendon de Jonge (Zim) 68   65   66   66   265   $265,000
T4   Chris Kirk (USA)      69   66   63   67   265   $265,000

7   Carl Pettersson (Swe)   69   67   68   62   266   $200,000
8   Jbe’ Kruger (RSA)   66   64   69   68   267   $175,000
9   Pat Perez (USA)      67   68   68   65   268   $150,000
T10   Scott Piercy (USA)   75   68   64   62   269   $102,500
T10   Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 65   72   65   67   269   $102,500

T10   Kevin Na (USA)      67   66   69   67   269   $102,500
T10   Brian Harman (USA)   64   70   66   69   269   $102,500   

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Where next?
European Tour –
Peter Hanson wins BMW Masters