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Northern Trust Open: Bubba Watson scores first win since 2012 Masters success

Last Updated: 17/02/14 8:54am

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Bubba Watson held his nerve down the stretch to score a two-shot victory in the Northern Trust Open at Riviera.

The big-hitting left-hander completed a superb weekend display by carding a second straight seven-under 64 to post 15-under and secure his first win since the 2012 Masters at Augusta.

Dustin Johnson finished runner-up for the second week running after a final-round 66 while two more American, Brian Harman (68) and Jason Allred (68) tied for third on 12-under.

Final leaderboard

(US unless stated)

-15 B Watson
-13 D Johnson
-12 J Allred
-12 B Harman

Click here for collated scores

Watson started the day four shots behind William McGirt but burst out of the blocks with a flurry of early birdies.

His first came at the par five opening hole and he made further gains at three, four and six, the latter after holing from sand.

He took the lead on his own by draining a 16 footer at the eighth and moved two in front with a sixth birdie of the day at the par five 11th.

Johnson, who also made a quick start, looked as if he might reel in his Ryder Cup teammate when he moved just one back after holing from three feet for birdie after a superb approach at the 15th.

But DJ couldn't find a birdie at the long 17th and a closing par set the clubhouse target of 13-under.

Par saves

Watson remained at 14-under with brave par saves at 12, 13 and 14 and added two more at 15 and 16 to keep his nose in front.

A huge tee-shot at 17 looked as if it might help him pull two clear but his second found a greenside bunker and from there he had to settle for a sixth straight par.

"Today, I got hot early, holed a bunker shot on six to really get it going and went bogey-free in the last round."
Bubba Watson

Needing one final par to wrap up victory, Bubba cut a low drive into the middle, left of the 18th fairway and from there fired his second to inside 15 feet.

With two putts for the win, Watson needed just one as he sank his birdie putt and raised his fist to the air in celebration.

"Today, I got hot early, holed a bunker shot on six to really get it going and went bogey-free in the last round," Watson said afterwards.

"I was looking at: 'There's a number out there and I'm going to shoot it. I have to shoot it and I have to go out there and play good golf'."

Of the iconic Riviera CC lay-out in Los Angeles, he added: "I love it. They don't trick it up, they don't have to add a bunch of length. It just is what it is, and it's tough. For me to be a part of this now is amazing."

Overnight leader McGirt, bidding to win his first PGA Tour event, started well with a birdie at the first but found it a grind after that and a closing 73 left him in tied sixth.

Lee Westwood was the only European to finish in the top 25 - a closing even par 71 leaving him at five-under and in a tie for 23rd.

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Northern Trust Open 2014

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McGirt takes lead at Riviera

William McGirt is the surprise leader after the third round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera in California.

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Dustin starts well at Riviera

Big-hitting American Dustin Johnson has a one-shot lead after the first day of the Northern Trust Open.

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