If an eagle, birdie, par, bogey, and a double bogey all on the same scorecard sound like a roller coaster of a day for your average golfer, that’s because it is. Not for Bubba Watson. He certainly isn’t your average golfer, and for him, that scorecard was just another day at the office.
Watson holed out from the bunker for eagle on the 72nd hole and then survived a playoff to win the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, but it was anything but an easy win for the now 7 time PGA Tour winner.
Bubba started the day behind 18, 36, and 54 hole leader Graeme McDowell but got off to a hot start after consecutive birdies on holes 6,7,and 8. He even headed the tee at 16 holding a two shot lead before it appeared that things were starting to unravel.
Watson was 89 yards away from the 16th green when he hit a lob wedge heavy and missed the green. He two-putted for bogey. Then, he found a bunker left of the green on the par-3 17th and couldn’t get up and down. It took him two shots to get out of the bunker, with his second one going off the green and onto the fringe, and he two-putted for double bogey.
All of a sudden, his two shot lead turned into a 5-way tie to the shock of everyone, including those playing behind him. They were so stunned to see a five-way tie for the lead, they asked to make sure it was accurate.
“That’s why I went for the green on 16,” Kaymer said. “I thought if I can make 3 there, I can square with Bubba. And I saw that he made double bogey on 17, so all of a sudden, there were five guys in the lead.”
To make matters worse, Watson found the green side bunker again at 18 and it seemed that he had squandered away the win. There is one thing that we have all learned about “Bubba Golf” though, and that’s just when you think he is done, he surprises is truly magnificent ways.
Despite having trouble getting out of the bunker just one hole earlier, Watson not only got out of the bunker on 18 but managed to hole his bunker shot from 60 yards away. He was so shocked by what he had done that all he could do was let out a loud yell.
“You always joke about holing it,” Watson said. “And then it actually went in. I didn’t know how to react and so I just kind of screamed, and I lost my voice a little bit. It was one of those shots, a one-in-a-lifetime kind of shot. And so it was pretty neat.”
Even playing partner Rickie Fowler couldn’t believe what he had just seen.
“You never know what he’s going to do,” said Rickie Fowler, who watched it all unfold.
His heroics weren’t done yet. Tim Clark birdied the final hole to force a playoff with Watson, and wouldn’t you know it, Bubba ended up in the same bunker again.
While he didn’t hole that one, the 20 foot birdie putt to get the win happened to be on the same line as the bunker shot he holed earlier so he knew they speed and break.
With the win, Watson became just the 14th golfer ever to win a major and a World Golf Championship event. More importantly than all that for Bubba though, was he was able to get the win overseas.
“Being able to win outside the U.S., I just want to be able to travel and get through the jet lag, get through all the things and still perform at a high level,” Watson said. “So for me to win out here, this is very big. This is very special for me.”
Nick Taylor wins Sanderson Farms Championship
A Canadian hadn’t won on the PGA Tour since 2007 when Mike Weir won the Frys.com Open. That all changed this weekend when Nick Taylor won this weekend’s opposite field event, the Sanderson Farms Championship.
The win capped off a whirlwind of a past six months for the young golfer. He got married in May, struggled with his golf game throughout the summer, managed to do enough to earn a spot on the PGA TOUR, and then on Sunday he fired a final-round 6-under 66 to win by two strokes.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” said Taylor, a 26-year-old Canadian who played at the University of Washington. “I’m kind of in shock. It’s surreal.”
As a result of the win, Taylor won’t have to worry about keeping his tour card for a while as he is now exempt through the 2016-2017 season.
Finishing 3 shots behind Taylor was Palm Beach Gardens resident Peter Uihlein. The European Tour member was playing on a sponsors exemption and fired the low round of the day Sunday when he shot a bogey free 7-under 65.
As a result of his T4 finish, Uihlein is now exempt into this week’s OHL Classic at Mayakoba, however he will be forgoing that to honor his commitment to play in the Turkish Open on the European Tour.
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