Tour Tracker: Watson wins Northern Trust Open
Sunday, February 16, 2014
PHOTOS: Northern Trust Open, final round
See the action and emotion of Sunday's final round of the PGA Tour's 2014 Northern Trust Open at Riviera CC near Los Angeles.
William McGirt carded a 6-under 65 in the third-round of the Northern Trust Open on Saturday to lead by two shots heading into the final round, as George McNeill (66) and Charlie Beljan (68) started the day 10 under in the final group with McGirt.
But the lead didn't last long – with several players catching up and another handful within a shot or two during their front nines at Riviera CC – including Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson.
Watson established himself as the leader as he made the turn, while Dustin Johnson shot 66 to finish his day a shot back of the 2012 Masters champion.
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Follow the action at Riviera all day long right here – and scroll down for our previous coverage:
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Update No. 30: 6:12 p.m. EST
With less than 15 feet to conquer and two strokes with which to do it, Bubba Watson takes care of business in one putt to rise to 15 under and wrap up a bogey-free, 64-64 weekend.
With the three players in the day's final group at 10 under or worse, Watson will win the Northern Trust Open.
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Update No. 29: 6:06 p.m. EST
It's tough to top the leader when he's got the best round of the day going, and at 6 under today Bubba Watson takes another step in the right direction by driving it down the middle of the 18th fairway. He then hits it onto the green, close enough that a three-putt seems unlikely.
Third-round leader William McGirt, in line for a top-10 finish, cards his third bogey of the day at the 16th and slips to 2 over for his round, T-6 at 10 under.
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Update No. 28: 5:54 p.m. EST
Leader Bubba Watson can't get up and down from a greenside bunker at the par-5 17th, but settles for par and will carry a one-shot lead to the 18th. Watson is looking for his first win since the 2012 Masters.
Jordan Spieth, his day waylaid after he made four bogeys on the back nine, wraps up a final-round 71 with three straight pars and heads in T-12 at 8 under.
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Update No. 27: 5:43 p.m. EST
Dustin Johnson gives himself a birdie putt at the 18th, albeit a challenging one – and comes up short and right, tapping in for par to wrap up a 5-under 66. Johnson heads to the clubhouse in second at 13 under, one back of leader Bubba Watson and one ahead of Brian Harman, and awaits his fate.
Speaking of Watson, he cards his fifth straight par at the 16th, then reaches a greenside bunker in two at the par-5 17th.
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Update No. 26: 5:24 p.m. EST
Pars again for leader Bubba Watson and second-place Dustin Johnson, at the 15th and 17 respectively, keep the margin at one shot – with Johnson running out of time to gain ground and heading to the 18th, where he bogeyed yesterday. Watson has played the final three holes in even par this week.
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Update No. 25: 5:05 p.m. EST
Bubba Watson makes his third straight par to remain 14 under through 14 holes, while Dustin Johnson pars the 16th to remain one back.
Harris English and Matt Every have the low rounds in the clubhouse so far, each shooting 67 to finish 9 and 10 under respectively.
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Update No. 24: 4:51 p.m. EST
Dustin Johnson pulls within a shot of leader Bubba Watson with a birdie at the 15th, his first in four holes. Johnson had been two over for the week at 15th, with an opening-round par followed by two bogeys. Watson pars the 13th to remain 14 under, while Charl Schwartzel cards his second bogey in three holes (around a birdie, at that) to slip to T-4 and 11 under.
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Update No. 22: 4:33 p.m. EST
With a drive and a second shot in the rough, leader Bubba Watson finds some trouble at the 12th. He pitches to within 5 feet, but leaves himself a downhill putt that is no gimme – he makes to remain 14 under and two shots clear of Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel and Brian Harman. Schwartzel holed out for birdie to erase a bogey and get to 12 under at the par-3 14th, while Johnson made about a 15-footer for par to stay at 12 under.
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Update No. 21: 4:13 p.m. EST
Leader Bubba Watson gets his first birdie since making the turn, thanks to about a 5-foot putt at the par-5 11th. Still bogey free, Watson moves to 14 under and stretches his lead to two shots over Dustin Johnson and Charl Schwartzel. Oh, and a big drive at the 11th didn't hurt Watson, according to senior writer Adam Schupak, @GolfweekSchupak: "Bubba hit it Bubba Long on No. 11. Nearly to the walkway. 60 yds ahead of Brian Harman. pic.twitter.com/o0wtu5kOgF"
Bubba hit it Bubba Long on No. 11. Nearly to the walkway. 60 yds ahead of Brian Harman. pic.twitter.com/o0wtu5kOgF— Adam Schupak (@GolfweekSchupak) February 16, 2014
Third-round leader William McGirt flirts with birdie at the par-4 10th hole, driving it into a bunker just short of the green before hitting a sand shot pin-high; he misses his birdie putt, however, and settles for par to remain 11 under, 1 over for the day.
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Update No. 20: 4:04 p.m. EST
Jordan Spieth bogeys the par-4 10th, then gets the shot back with a birdie at the par-5 11th thanks to an up-and-down from a greenside bunker. Spieth is T-4 at 11 under alongside four others, two back of leader Bubba Watson. Dustin Johnson and Charl Schwartzel par the 12th to remain a shot back of Watson's lead.
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Update No. 19: 3:54 p.m. EST
Leader Bubba Watson makes back-to-back pars for the first time today, remaining 13 under and alone in the lead by a shot. Watson is hunting for his first win since the 2012 Masters.
Brian Harman and William McGirt bogey Nos. 10 and 9, respectively, to slip to 11 under, T-4 with Jason Allred and Matt Every. Dustin Johnson and Charl Schwartzel are T-2 at 12 under.
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Update No. 18: 3:47 p.m. EST
Dustin Johnson's third birdie in five holes comes at the par-5 11th and pulls him within a shot of leader Bubba Watson. Johnson, coming off a T-2 finish last week at Pebble Beach, is alongside Brian Harman, William McGirt and Charl Schwartzel at 12 under in a tie for second.
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Update No. 17: 3:32 p.m. EST
As leader Bubba Watson pars No. 9 to make the turn in 30, let's check in on the 12 players among the top 20 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings who are at Riviera this week:
- 5. Matt Kuchar: MC (74-75)
- 7. Justin Rose: T-44 at 1 under (2 over through 16 holes today)
- 8. Webb Simpson: T-64 at 2 over (1 over through 10)
- 10. Hideki Matsuyama: T-22 at 6 under (1 under through 12)
- 11. Charl Schwartzel: T-2 at 12 under (4 under through 10)
- 14. Graham DeLaet: T-70 at 3 over (1 over through nine)
- 15. Jim Furyk: T-22 at 6 under (even through 12)
- 16. Bubba Watson: Leader at 12 under (5 under through eight)
- 17. Hunter Mahan: T-44 at 1 under (2 under through nine)
- 18. Lee Westwood: T-22 at 6 under (even through 12)
- 19. Harris English: T-14 at 8 under (3 under thorugh 13)
- 20. Jordan Spieth: T-5 at 11 under (3 under through nine)
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Update No. 16: 3:16 p.m. EST
Bubba Watson breaks away from the co-leaders, birdieing at No. 8 to move to 5 under for the day and 13 under alone atop the leaderboard.. Earlier, Watson holed out from a waist-deep bunker at No. 6 for birdie (mobile readers can see the video here).
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Update No. 15: 3:11 p.m. EST
Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel are 4 under for their respective rounds in moving to a share of the lead, as is K.J. Choi in moving to T-12 at 9 under. But outdoing them all is Matt Every, who's 5 under through 11 holes in moving to T-5 at 11 under, one back of the lead. Every has birdied four in a row at Nos. 8-11.
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Update No. 14: 3:03 p.m. EST
Charl Schwartzel joins the lead pack thanks to a birdie at No. 8, his fourth in six holes. That moves him to 12 under alongside Bubba Watson, third-round leader William McGirt and Brian Harman.
Keegan Bradley, by the way, has yet to birdie since the turn. Bogeys at Nos. 12 and 14 drop him to T-23 at 6 under.
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Update No. 13: 2:47 p.m. EST
Make it four birdies in six holes for Bubba Watson, who moves to a share of the lead with William McGirt – as well as Brian Harman, whose three straight birdies at Nos. 4-6 get him to 12 under as well. They're a shot ahead of Charlie Beljan, Charl Schwartzel, Jordan Spieth and Cameron Tringale.
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Update No. 12: 2:34 p.m. EST
Cameron Tringale quickly climbs back to 11 under with a birdie at No. 6 that erases his bogey a hole earlier. The Georgia Tech product is one back of leader William McGirt, T-2 alongside Bubba Watson, Sang-Moon Bae and Charl Schwartzel, as well as Brian Harman, who birdies back-to-back at Nos. 4-5. McGirt cards his second straight par since starting the day bogey-birdie.
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Update No. 11: 2:23 p.m. EST
Bubba Watson keeps gaining steam with a birdie at the third hole – and another at the fourth hole; he's 3 under today as he heads to the par-5 fifth hole, lifting him to 11 under and a shot back of the lead.
Charl Schwartzel also moves to 11 under with a birdie at No. 6, while Cameron Tringale falls off that mark with a bogey at No. 5. Schwartzel earlier birdied No. 5 thanks to a birdie putt of about 50 feet (mobile readers can see the video here).
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Update No. 10: 2:02 p.m. EST
A bogey at the second hole brings leader William McGirt back toward the pack, dropping him to 12 under and shrinking his lead to a shot. McGirt talked to Golfweek about two years ago to sing the praises of life on the PGA Tour.
Meanwhile, Cameron Tringale's hot day continues with a birdie at the third hole adding to his opening eagle and pushing him to 11 under, T-2 with Charlie Beljan.
Jason Allred, Sang-Moon Bae and Jordan Spieth are T-4 at 10 under, with seven players another shot back.
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Update No. 9: 1:53 p.m. EST
Eight of the top 18 players on the leaderboard already are 2 under or better for the day so far, with only Keegan Bradley having finished more than nine holes as he pars No. 10.
Jordan Spieth is among that group, birdieing the first and third holes to rise to T-4 at 10 under with three others. Spieth, who played collegiately at Texas, won the John Deere Classic last year.
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Update No. 8: 1:43 p.m. EST
Leader William McGirt starts his Sunday with the lead for the first time in his career, as well as a missed fairway. He more than recovers and makes birdie, maintaining a two-shot lead over Charlie Beljan, who also opens with birdie. Six players are at 10 under – including Sang-Moon Bae, who birdies the first and third.
Bubba Watson starts the day with some trademark "Bubba golf" – missing the fairway at the par-5 first, then recovering to give himself an eagle try. Our Adam Schupak was there to see it unfold:
Always a treat to see Bubba be Bubba. Hit a rope hook to the front of the green and is putting for eagle at the first.— Adam Schupak (@GolfweekSchupak) February 16, 2014
Watson's eagle try comes up short, but well within birdie range and he converts to move to T-8 at 9 under.
Up ahead, Keegan Bradley has the hottest hand on the course – he birdies at No. 9 to make the turn in 30 with four pars and five birdies, rising 21 spots to T-12 at 8 under. Fifty-nine watch, anyone?
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Update No. 7: 1:24 p.m. EST
The first hole also is quite kind to the threesome of Jordan Spieth, Cameron Tringale and Jimmy Walker. Tringale eagles to move to T-2 at 10 under alongside Charlie Beljan and George McNeill, while Spieth and Walker birdie to move to T-5 at 9 under alongside six others. Leader William McGirt is still two shots ahead, but the crowd in contention is growing – and gaining notable names.
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Update No. 6: 1:17 p.m. EST
They didn't card eagles (yet), but the 9:43 a.m. (local time) threesome of Dustin Johnson, Sang-Moon Bae and Charl Schwartzel have used birdies at No. 1 to move to 9 under alongside Charley Hoffman and two others.
Keegan Bradley birdies No. 7 to match Daniel Summerhays as the low men of the day at 4 under.
PHOTOS: Northern Trust Open, third round
Check out images from the third round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club.
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Update No. 5: 1:01 p.m. EST
He's not the first to do it this week, or even today, but Charley Hoffman starts his round with an eagle at the par-5 first hole to rise to 9 under, three shots back of leader William McGirt and T-4 with Jason Allred and Brian Harman. Hoffman, a UNLV product, has three top-10 finishes this season and two since New Year's; he's chasing his third Tour win, the most recent in 2010 at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
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Update No. 4: 12:48 p.m. EST
A couple more notables on the move early today: K.J. Choi and Harris English are 2 under. Choi started with two straight birdies, while English birdied the first and third. They're 7 under, T-14 with seven others including Jim Furyk and Bill Haas. Conversely, Pat Perez has started his day out in rough fashion with a triple bogey at No. 10 that drops him to T-74 at 4 over.
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Update No. 3: 12:33 p.m. EST
Keegan Bradley also is on the move at Riviera early Sunday: He starts with back-to-back birdies and adds another at the par-4 fifth hole to move to 6 under, good for T-20 with eight others. Bradley's yet to finish worse than T-18 when making the cut this season (he MC'd at the Phoenix Open). Also among those at 6 under: Ernie Els, who has birdied the first and third holes.
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Update No. 2: 12:26 p.m. EST
With players teeing off both nines, the short par-4 10th hole already has made its presence felt: Stuart Appleby has made birdie there to rise to 4 under and T-31, while Ian Poulter and Angel Cabrera are among a handful of players to make bogey there to start the day. In case you missed it earlier this week, Riviera CC director of golf Todd Yoshitake shared his tips on strategy for playing the tricky hole that's a favorite of none other than Jack Nicklaus (mobile readers can see the video here).
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Update No. 1: 12:19 p.m. EST
Daniel Summerhays is the big mover early Sunday – starting off eagle-birdie-birdie at Nos. 1-3 to move to 8 under, four shots back of leader William McGirt and T-6 alongside Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and three others. Summerhays, a BYU product, finished T-10 at November's McGladrey Classic.
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William McGirt has not won an event on the PGA Tour, nor on the Web.com Tour, but in the Northern Trust Open's final round, he'll have a chance to win a PGA Tour event. Here are 5 Things from the third round at Riviera Country Club.
William McGirt carded a 6-under 65 in the third-round of the Norther Trust Open to lead by two-shots heading into the final round on Sunday. See how it all unfolded in the Tracker.
Wiliam McGirt has shot to the top of the leaderboard during the third round of the Northern Trust Open. He is looking for his first PGA Tour victory.
• • •
On Valentine’s Day, the field at Riviera Country Club swooned over the gorgeous weather and the firm, fast conditions while Sang-Moon Bae took the lead at the halfway point of the Northern Trust Open.
For only the fourth time in 32 appearances, Fred Couples will not be around for the weekend at the Northern Trust Open.
Jordan Spieth doesn't have the best of memories when it comes to the par-4 12th hole at Riviera, but a simple par on Friday seemed to push him in a positive direction – and a made cut at the Northern Trust Open.
While the stat sheet showed 30 putts from Dustin Johnson in the first round at the Northern Trust Open, the more important statistic was his strokes-gained putting – which isn't as complicated as it sounds.
Darren Clarke was disappointed with his 7-over 78 in Thursday’s first round of the Northern Trust Open. But he was more disappointed with the fact that he had to withdraw due to a continuing muscle issue in his chest.
• • •
At one time during the morning wave, 15 players were tied for the lead. But Dustin Johnson, with just one bogey on his card, posted a 5-under 66 and took a lead that held up until play was suspended because of darkness. Ten players finished one shot back at 4-under-par, including three-time 2013-14 winner Jimmy Walker, with J.B. Holmes on that mark through 16 holes when play was put on hold until 7:30 a.m. local time Friday.
PHOTOS: Northern Trust Open, first round
See the action and emotion from Thursday's first round of the PGA Tour's 2014 Northern Trust Open at Riviera near Los Angeles.
World No. 5 Justin Rose makes his return from a shoulder injury at this week's Northern Trust Open, in a stocked field that also includes Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar and three-time 2013-14 winner Jimmy Walker. Dustin Johnson, meanwhile, jumped out to the lead with a 66 in the morning groups.
Yesterday, caddie Michael Greller flashed back to the 2012 Northern Trust Open when he took a week off from his job as a sixth-grade math and science teacher in Washington to watch Jordan Spieth compete as an amateur.
Scott Verplank made a quadruple-bogey "snowman" eight, two doubles and a bogey and was 10-over-par when he withdrew from the Northern Trust Open on the ninth hole of the first round, citing a bad back.
Interstate 405, a major artery around Los Angeles that leads to Riviera, faces an 80-hour traffic jam as road construction to add a carpool lane to the northbound 405 commences during the Northern Trust Open.
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Jason Gore is in the field at the Northern Trust Open and happy to be here after a lot of jumping back and forth between the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour with no real home – amid a desire to be at home with his family. Enter Charles Barkley, a longtime, fierce competitor in the NBA.
Naturally three-time 2013-14 PGA Tour winner Jimmy Walker is getting plenty of talk amid picks for this week's Northern Trust Open, while Canada's Graham DeLaet is a popular choice to break through with his first career win. Riviera also has notable names such as Dustin Johnson, Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan in the mix, not to mention Joost Luiten, Pat Perez and Jordan Spieth.
Will fans be part of Tuesday practice rounds on the PGA Tour in the future? At the recent Farmers Insurance Open and this week's Northern Trust Open, spectators have been banned from the grounds on Tuesdays. The move is an outgrowth of the revised security policies issued late last year by the Tour.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose had been sidelined for the past two months with what Rose described as a basic tendinitis of the right supraspinatus (shoulder). “I played pretty much from October last year with it not perfect,” Rose said.
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