Bubba goes 64-64 at Riv for 1st title since Masters

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 16, 2014, 11:20 pm

Bubba Watson shot back-to-back bogey-free 64s on the weekend to outduel fellow bomber Dustin Johnson and win by two shots Sunday at the Northern Trust Open. Here’s the skinny from the final round at Riviera:

The leaderboard: Bubba Watson (-15); Dustin Johnson (-13); Jason Allred and Brian Harman at -12; Charl Schwartzel (-11)

What it means: For Watson, it’s his first PGA Tour victory since the 2012 Masters. It also redeemed a sloppy closing performance at the Phoenix Open, where the left-hander bogeyed two of the last three holes to lose by one. Since slipping into the green jacket, Watson has played 37 events and posted eight top 10s. Watson’s fifth career victory should move him inside the top 15 in the world rankings. 

Round of the day: After a sizzling 64 on Saturday, Watson followed it up with another spectacular 64 – including a closing 13-footer on the last – to win by two shots. Afterward, Watson celebrated the emotional victory with his wife, Angie, and their son, Caleb, behind the 18th green.

Best of the rest: Coming off last week’s T-2 at Pebble Beach, Dustin Johnson again found himself in position to win at Riviera. One shot behind coming down the stretch, Johnson hit the longest drive of the day on the par-5 17th, but his overcooked second shot went crashing into the trees. He barely reached the green with his third shot and two-putted from 50 feet for a deflating par. Then, on the 18th, he had just 138 yards and a pitching wedge into the home hole, but his approach came up 33 feet short of the cup. The ensuing par left him with a final-round 66 and a second consecutive runner-up finish.

Biggest disappointment: It was no surprise, really, that the final threesome of William McGirt (73), George McNeill (71) and Charlie Beljan (73) hardly factored on the last day. Jordan Spieth (71) moved within a shot of the lead at one point as he chased his second victory, but he made four bogeys on the back nine to finish seven shots behind. 

Shot of the day: With 166 yards into the final green, Watson stuffed his approach to 13 feet to seal his victory. 

Quote of the day: “The whole year is about rejoicing. I’m thinking about how blessed I am to be playing on the PGA Tour. Everything is just gravy right now.” – Watson 

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Watch: Pieters snaps club ... around his neck

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 1:19 pm

After opening in 3-over 75, Thomas Pieters was in no mood for more poor play on Friday.

Unfortunately for Pieters, he bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and then didn't like his second shot at the par-5 fourth.

Someone - or some thing - had to pay, and an innocent iron bore the brunt of Pieters' anger.

Pieters made par on the hole, but at 5 over for the tournament, he was five shots off the cut line.

It's not the first time a club has faced Pieters' wrath. 

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Woods would 'love' to see Tour allow shorts

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:59 pm

Players on the European Tour are allowed to wear shorts during practices and pro-ams.

The PGA of America permitted players to show some leg while prepping for last year’s PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods would like to see the PGA Tour follow suit.

"I would love it," he said Thursday in a Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf. "We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet. We usually travel with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer, and then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it's summer down there.

"It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts."

Caddies are currently allowed to wear shorts on Tour, during events.

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Feasting again: McIlroy shoots 65 to lead BMW PGA

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:04 pm

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Rory McIlroy made seven birdies and no bogeys on Friday for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship.

After opening in 67, McIlroy was among the early groups out on Day 2 at Wentworth Club. He made three birdies and no bogeys on the par-35 front nine on Friday, and then went on a run after the turn.

McIlroy made four consecutive birdies, beginning at the par-5 12th. That got him to 12 under, overall, and gave him a clear advantage over the field. With two closing par-5s, a very low number was in sight. But, as he did on Day 1, McIlroy finished par-par.

"I've made four pars there [on 17 and 18] when I really should be making at least two birdies, but I played the other par-5s well," McIlroy said. "It all balances itself out."

Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship

McIlroy has made 14 birdies and two bogeys through two rounds. At 12 under, he has a three-stroke lead over Sam Horsfield.

"The work has paid off, to some degree," McIlroy said of his practice with swing coach Michael Bannon. "I still feel like I'm hitting some loose shots out there. But, for the most part, it's been really good. If I can keep these swing thoughts and keep going in the right direction, hopefully this is the type of golf I'll be able to produce."

This event has been feast or famine for McIlroy. He won here in 2014, but has three missed cuts in his other three starts. This week, however, he’ll be around for the weekend and is in position for his first European Tour victory since the 2016 Irish Open and his second worldwide victory of the year (Arnold Palmer Invitational).

"I have the confidence that I'm playing well and I can go out and try to just replicate what I did the day before," McIlroy said about his weekend approach with the lead. "On the first tee box tomorrow I'll be thinking about what I did today. Trying to just keep the same thoughts, make the same swings. I went a couple better today than I did yesterday. I'm not sure I'll keep that progression going but something similiar tomorrow would be nice."

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Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."