GREENSBORO, N.C. – The 18th hole at Sedgefield Country Club plays sharply downhill, so Nick Watney couldn’t see as his title hopes at the Wyndham Championship hit a cart path and bounced out of bounds.
Watney began the final round with a one-shot lead over Brad Fritsch, and after a slow start he appeared ready to take command of the tournament after a birdie on the 11th hole once again gave him sole possession of the lead.
He bogeyed the 14th hole, though, and after failing to take advantage of the par-5 15th he headed to the final hole at 16 under, one shot behind clubhouse leader Camilo Villegas. His final tee shot drifted right, and ultimately landed a few feet out of bounds in a yard that borders the final fairway. The double bogey dropped Watney into a tie for fifth after a final-round 70.
“I knew what was at stake, and I just pushed it a little bit,” Watney said. “I thought it was in play to be honest with you, kind of snuck up on me over there. Extremely disappointed.”
Watney was in search of his sixth PGA Tour win, but first since The Barclays in 2012. Despite the final-hole setback, he’ll now head into the playoffs with the momentum of three top-15 finishes in his last four starts after enduring a disappointing stretch for much of the season.
“Lot of positives from these last four events,” he said. “It’s hard to think about that right now, but when I go home, a lot of good stuff and who knows, (get) hot at the right time and you can go far. That’s the goal.”