Bubba Watson birdied the final hole at Torrey Pines to win the Farmers Insurance Open by a single stroke from fellow left-hander Phil Mickelson. It was Watson’s second PGA Tour victory.
Mickelson began the final round in a tie for the lead with Bill Haas. Watson was a shot back, but he birdied the 3rd, 6th and 9th holes to move ahead. He consolidated his advantage with further birdies at the 11th and 13th.
Mickelson came back strongly with four birdies of his own on the back nine but victory was virtually ruled out when Watson holed from 12-feet for a closing birdie on the par-5 18th.
It left Mickelson requiring an eagle to tie. It was going to be a tough ask as he’d already played his second shot back to the fairway from a tough lie in the rough. It didn’t stop Phil from having a go though.
From 72 yards out, he had his caddy “Bones” tend the flag as he fired a wedge shot to the green. His ball landed behind the hole and the crowd went wild as it began to spin back. But it never had a chance to go in and the title was Watson’s.
“It showed I can do it,” Watson said. “I’ve done it twice now. I’m only 50 behind Phil and about 80 behind Tiger. So they better watch out.”
Although Mickelson was disappointed to not secure victory, he was pleased with his performance.
“I wanted to start the year off with a win. On the other hand, I played really good golf.”
Jhonattan Vegas who won last week’s Bob Hope Classic had another chance this time out. He was in touch with Watson until the final hole when his second shot found the water short of the green. He made a bogey and ended three shots back in a tie for third with Dustin Johnson.
Nick Watney made the move of the day, closing with a 63 to climb into a tie for sixth.
Tiger Woods made his worst season debut since 1997. He closed with a 75 to finish in a tie for 44th, 15 shots behind Watson.
“I have some work to do,” Tiger said.
Farmers Insurance Open
Torrey Pines Golf Course, California
Jan 27-30, purse $5,800,000, par 72
1 Bubba Watson (USA) 71 65 69 67 272 $1,044,000
2 Phil Mickelson (USA) 67 69 68 69 273 $626,400
T3 Dustin Johnson (USA) 69 69 71 66 275 $336,400
T3 Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 69 69 69 68 275 $336,400
5 D.A. Points (USA) 73 68 68 67 276 $232,000
T6 Anthony Kim (USA) 68 67 71 72 278 $194,300
T6 Hunter Mahan (USA) 69 67 69 73 278 $194,300
T6 Nick Watney (USA) 70 73 72 63 278 $194,300
Note: Player in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
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