Bubba Watson wins his third title at Riviera to join Ben Hogan and Lloyd Mangrum
Bubba Watson silenced his critics with his 10th PGA Tour Title win at the Riviera Country Club for his third Genesis Open Title and in turn joining Ben Hogan and Lloyd Mangrum to be the only players to win three times at Riviera.
Watson shot a final round two-under 69 consisting five birdies and three bogeys which came earlier on his front nine and led to an early trouble for him dropping him to 9-under with 1-over 36, but on the back nine Bubba turned the wind to his side with 3-under 33 smashing drives and shaping shots in every direction, giving him his first win since 2016, which also came at the Genesis Open.
“My goal has always been to get 10 wins, and so, this got to my 10th win,” a teary-eyed Watson said. “There are so many emotions going through my head right now, never know if you’re going to play well again, never know if you’re going to be able to lift a trophy again.
“So many things, I thought about retirement. I mean there’s just so much stuff going through my head right now. I can’t believe I’m going to lift the trophy.”
The opening round co-leader Tony Finau and Kevin Na too posted two-under 69 for the day for a T-2nd finish on the board at 10-under 274 after climbing up a spot from T-3rd Saturday’s finish.
Tony Finau’s co-leader Patrick Cantlay led the field for two days before Watson took over him by a shot on Saturday. Cantlay finished the event for a T-4th with a final round 71 to join Scott Stallings at 9-under-275. Stallings produced his straight third three-under 68 round at the event after an opening round of 71.
Phil Mickelson produced some final round heroics with a chip-in birdie on the par-4 12th, helping him get to within a shot of the lead. But back to back bogeys on the 15th and 16th before a birdie on the par-5 17th slid down his chances of a win, he finished his final round for a three-under 68 for a T-6th finish on the board with Adam Hadwin and Cameron Smith at 8-under 276.
Mickelson has finished T-5th at the Waste Management, T-2nd at Pebble Beach and now T-6th at the Genesis Open, his win drought might soon be coming to an end.
Following him by a shot for a T-9th finish are Jordan Spieth, Rookie of the Year awardee Xander Schauffele, Player of the Year Justin Thomas, Martin Laird, and Ryan Moore at 7-under 277.
The defending champion Dustin Johnson fired a final round two-over 73 five birdies, three bogeys, and two unfortunate double bogeys on the par-4 5th and 12th dropped him from a T-8th finish on Saturday to a T-16th on Sunday at four-under 280 with Alex Noren, Sung Kang, and Derek Fathauer.
Anirban Lahiri posted four-under 74 on Saturday for a T-13th position on the board but lost 13 spots on Sunday with 3-over 74 round consisting four birdies and seven bogeys, three of which came on his last three holes 7th, 8th, and 9th keeping him away from a top-20 finish. Lahiri stood T-26th at 2-under 282 with John Huh, Peter Uihlein, Luke List, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Patrick Rodgers, Jamie Lovemark, Matt Kuchar, Dominic Bozzelli, Sam Saunders, and the Friday’s co-leader Graeme McDowell.