Following a drama-filled Sunday, the last man standing was 54-hole leader Bubba Watson, who withstood charges from Adam Scott, K.J. Choi and Jason Kokrak to win the Northern Trust Open by 1 shot, his 2nd victory at Riviera in the last three years. While Watson’s competitors faltered down the stretch, Bubba limited his mistakes and made big putts down the stretch to close out the victory.
With the win, Watson reclaims the world number 4 spot from Rickie Fowler and looks to be a front-runner for the 2016 Masters. For Bubba haters, there is one silver lining: this week’s win marked his 9th career victory, moving him a single victory away from the magic number of 10 wins he once remarked could make him retire.
''My goal is 10 wins and make every team event,'' he said. ''Those are the biggest goals. And until we reach those goals, I'm going to keep trying. If I get to 10, then I can switch it from there. Or retire.''
There were a lot of questions surrounding Adam Scott entering the 2016 season. 2015 marked the first season since 2000 that Scott failed to record a win, and the more recent anchor ban prohibited the use of his broomstick putter. Scott answered the questions with one thing that has never changed: his remarkable ability to strike a golf ball. The Aussie put on a ball-striking clinic on Sunday, hitting 14 greens in regulation en route to a closing 67 that included an opening eagle and 6 birdies, culminating with a dramatic chip-in on 18. Unfortunately, Scott was undone by a usual suspect, his putter, producing two 3-putts (one of which was from inside 20 feet on the back 9).
Kokrak falls one short
Unknown outside of PGA Tour junkies, Kokrak’s long drives and
McIroy impresses despite a shaky Sunday
Despite struggling on Sunday (firing a final-round 75), notice was served: Rory is back and gunning for Spieth’s number 1 spot. McIlroy displayed the jaw-dropping power and precision that make him an unstoppable force when he is clicking. He will be playing in 4 of the next 5 PGA Tour events, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him bring
Wish we knew the feeling of having to ask a 286-yard shot from the fairway to get down….
Spieth fires 79
The biggest storyline of Thursday and Friday’s action was the struggles of world number 1, Jordan Spieth. On Thursday, Spieth shot an uncharacteristic 8-over-par 79. The round was marred by missed approach shots and short putts and caused many media outlets to overreact, asking what was wrong with Spieth?
The short answer: nothing. Tiger Woods spoiled golf fans with his consistent dominance. For all other players, sometimes you just don’t have your A-game, and Thursday was an example of everything going wrong for the 23-year-old Spieth.
It was Spieth’s 16th missed cut of his young career. In comparison, Tiger Woods missed 15 his entire career.
Lee fumbles lead and Fraser picks up W
In Malaysia, Korea’s Soomin Lee stood on the 16th tee with a 2-shot lead over Englishman Marcus Fraser. Then disaster struck. Lee double-bogeyed 16 and 18, opening the door for Fraser to claim his first title in nearly 6 years by 2 shots. Fraser was refreshingly candid in his post-round interview, saying the European Tour’s recent Desert Swing was “the three worst weeks of golf I've played in my career” and describing his victory with “a lot of putts found their way into the hole over the weekend, and it was definitely my week." With the win, Fraser earned himself a spot in the upcoming WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Namura holds off Ko down the stretch
The LPGA’s best were in Australia for the Women’s Australian Open. World number 1 Lydia Ko was in contention on Sunday and fired a final-round 67 but couldn’t catch Japan’s Haru Nomura, who hit clutch shot after clutch shot, birdieing 4 of the final 6 holes en route to shooting a final round 65 for a 3-shot victory over Ko.
Golf Course Photo Tour: The Valley Club of Montecito
In between his two most famed designs of Cypress Point Golf Club and Augusta National, Alister MacKenzie stopped in Montecito, California to design the Valley Club. Regularly ranked in America’s top 100 courses, the Valley Club exhibits MacKenzie’s masterful bunkering and routing.
That hair tho….
Tour pros go retro.
Bubba’s winning glove.
An incredibly accurate summary of Adam Scott’s tee shot on 18.