Watson ends trophy drought

US Tour

Bubba Watson is back in the winner’s circle after clinching the Northern Trust Open at Riviera by two shots.

The American, whose previous victory came back in 2012 when he won the Masters at Augusta, carded a flawless seven-under-par 64 to finish at 15 under for the tournament.

Dustin Johnson was his closest challenge after a final round of 66 pushed him to 13 under while Brian Harman (68) and Jason Allred (68) were another shot off the pace.

It really was a big turnaround from Watson as he started four shots off the pace of third-round leader William McGirt, but posted five birdies in the first eight holes at the Riviera Country Club.

“I am hitting the ball really well … and it worked out this week,” he told CBS Sports. “Things are great right now.”

He added: “Today, I got hot early, holed a bunker shot on six to really get it going and went bogey-free in the last round.”

“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’.

“You’re always looking at trying to beat the golf course first, so that was my goal.”

Johnson finished runner-up for the second week in a row and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was alone in fifth at 11 under following a 68.

“He must be hitting the ball great and be in great control of his golf ball because the golf course, the greens, are really firm,” Schwartzel said of Watson’s performance. “It’s difficult. You need to hit good shots here.”

McGirt, who is still searching for his maiden PGA Tour, finished five shots behind Watson after a 73 while Lee Westwood closed with even par 71 to be at five-under.

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