x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Watney wins by one shot

Nick Watney birdied the last hole to win the Buick Invitational by one shot at Torrey Pines on Sunday.

Nick Watney celebrates on his way to an 11-under par victory at Torrey Pines.
Nick Watney celebrates on his way to an 11-under par victory at Torrey Pines.

Nick Watney birdied the last hole to win the Buick Invitational by one shot at Torrey Pines yesterday. Watney was level with John Rollins as they played the par-five 18th hole and sealed his second PGA Tour victory with a birdie putt from just inside three feet. Watney set up the birdie with a beautifully judged putt from 63 feet as he finished 11 under par following a four-under 68. Rollins then missed a 12-footer for birdie and tapped in for a par to finish 10-under. He had started the day with a three-stroke lead, an advantage he still held at the turn, but was eventually overhauled by Watney after posting a two-over-par 74. Camilo Villegas finished tied for third at nine-under along with Lucas Glover, who closed with a 68. "I knew with this golf course and the conditions it was going to play tough," Watney said. "John and Camilo were both playing well all week, so I really just tried to be patient and give myself as many opportunities as I could and luckily I was able to make some putts, and it worked out." Watney was three down with five holes to play but finished with birdies at the 16th and 18th while Rollins came back to the pack. "Winning a golf tournament is never easy," Watney added. "I knew we had some good holes to play, and I definitely didn't want to give up. I just tried to keep my head down and give myself chances and I was able to make some putts." While Watney carded just one bogey ? at the seventh ? Rollins had a tough time over the back nine which eventually cost him the title. After consecutive bogeys to begin his final round, Rollins played his next nine holes in one-under. A bogey at the 12th was then followed by an eagle at the par-five 13th and that seemed to put him on course for victory. However, the relief was short-lived as Rollins bogeyed the 14th and 16th. He pushed his second shot into a greenside bunker on the 18th and blasted out to 12 feet but could not convert his birdie putt, leaving Watney to capitalise. "It was tough out there today. Nick played great, hit the ball well all day, made some good putts, and my hat's off to him," Rollins said. "A four-under is a great score out there today. I just seemed to kind of struggle to get anything going and got off to a bad start bogeying one and two, kind of gave the guys a little bit of life. "I started to right the ship kind of halfway through the round and then the eagle putt on 13, when that fell for me, that was a big boost there to get a three-shot lead back," he added. "But just unfortunately I didn't drive it well enough today to keep the ball in the fairway to sort of attack any of the flags or anything else. I was always kind of playing defence."

*PA Sport