Bubba Watson claimed victory in the Northern Trust Open at Riviera after passing a kidney stone, meeting Justin Bieber and making a TV cameo appearance.
Bubba Watson was two shots off the pace with just four holes to play at Riviera. But the left-hander turned on the afterburners to pass Jason Kokrak and Adam Scott and claim a second Northern Trust Open title by a single stroke.
The 37-year-old made an excellent two on the par-3 16th and then walked to the par-5 17th tee with the bit between his teeth. He unleashed a drive that travelled over 330 yards and then blasted a two iron the remaining 245 yards to the green. Two putts from there and he had the lead. A par at the last was enough to secure the title.
4 Talking points from the Northern Trust Open
1 – It was an eventful week at Riviera for Bubba Watson. He passed a kidney stone on Monday, appeared in an episode of TV show “Girl Meets World,” took his son to meet Justin Bieber and went out on Saturday night to watch a Clippers-Warriors basketball game.
“The highlight is definitely winning,” Watson said. “When you come to Hollywood, there’s a lot of things you can do. It’s fun. And winning is the cake.”
With the win, his second at Riviera, Watson has moved back to Number 4 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
2 – Adam Scott made a great start to the final round with an eagle and three birdies in his first six. But he missed a couple of key par putts on the back nine and, despite a crowd-pleasing chip-in on the 72nd hole, he came up one shot shy. Still, his final round of 67 showed the 2013 Masters champion is on excellent form as the top players begin to think of the WGC events of March and The Masters in early April.
3 – It wasn’t such a good day for Rory McIlroy. He briefly tied for the lead after an eagle at the opening hole but it all went wrong after that. The Northern Irishman dropped seven shots and carded a 75 that saw him fall back into a tie for 20th place. “I turned a chance to win into a top-20, so that wasn’t too good,” he said.
Rory McIlroy swing sequence:
McIlroy wasn’t the only star player to struggle this week. World Number 1 Jordan Spieth missed the cut after an opening round of 79.
4 – Jason Kokrak looked like he might break his duck and secure a maiden PGA Tour title when he took a two shot lead after a fine birdie at the 13th. But he then made an error at the 15th and dropped a shot and couldn’t keep up with Watson as the left-hander put his foot down over the closing holes.
“You have to eliminate those mistakes,” a clearly disappointed Kokrak said. “I mean on the 15th I was in the fairway and I had a two-shot lead at that time.”
Northern Trust Open
Riviera CC, Pacific Palisades, California
Purse $6,800,000, par 71
1 Bubba Watson (USA) 66 68 67 68 269 $1,224,000
T2 Jason Kokrak (USA) 68 64 70 68 270 $598,400
T2 Adam Scott (Aus) 68 68 67 67 270 $598,400
4 Dustin Johnson (USA) 68 66 68 69 271 $326,400
T5 K.J. Choi (Kor) 69 67 67 69 272 $258,400
T5 Marc Leishman (Aus) 68 67 68 69 272 $258,400
7 Chez Reavie (USA) 66 67 69 71 273 $227,800
T8 Sung Kang (Kor) 70 69 66 69 274 $204,000
T8 Matt Kuchar (USA) 69 69 69 67 274 $204,000
10 Ryan Moore (USA) 69 68 69 69 275 $183,600
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage