Watson holds nerve to seal Northern Trust Open


Bubba Watson survived two bogey scares with consecutive birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to secure his ninth PGA Tour victory at the Northern Trust Open on Sunday.

The world number six was feeling the heat from the chasing pack of Adam Scott and Jason Kokrak but held steady to card a score of three-under-par 68 during the final round to finish 15 under overall, one stroke clear of Scott and Kokrak who tied for second.

Scott, who eagled the first hole and hit birdies on three of the next five to go five-under-par by the sixth hole, saw much of his good work undone by a double bogey on the eighth.

By the 15th hole he was two under, having birdied  the 11th and hit consecutive bogeys on holes 14 and 15, before finishing the round with consecutive birdies which left him at four under on the day and, having finished his round before Watson, hopeful of a 12th PGA Tour win.

But Watson would not be denied and showed nerves of steel to convert birdie opportunities on the 16th and 17th holes to set up a comfortable two-putt on the 18th for the win.

The 37-year-old was delighted to pick up his first tour win of the year, having won just once in 2015.

It was the second time he had won the Northern Trust Open - having sealed the crown in 2014 - and Watson said he was happy with the way he held his focus.

"Instead of swing thoughts and swing it's all about the mind," Watson said.

"It's about staying patient. It's been a struggle over the five years but it's working in the right direction."

Kokrak's four birdies were enough to seal a share of second place alongside Scott, with a bogey on the 15th costing him the chance at a play-off.

Dustin Johnson's round of two under saw him drop from second to fourth place, while Marc Leishman and K.J. Choi also carded two under to retain equal fifth and round out the top five.

Chez Reavie finished seventh with 11 under overall, Matt Kuchar and Sung Kang tied for eighth on 10 under, with Ryan Moore finishing in 10th having finished nine under.