Published: Tue, February 20, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Genesis Open: Bubba Watson completes comeback with third win at Riviera

Genesis Open: Bubba Watson completes comeback with third win at Riviera

Among the lowlights for Watson was a running jumper he launched from the baseline that Hall of Famer Tracy McGradycasually swatted out of bounds.

The clip of Watson's rejection went viral in golf circles, but it was the two-time Masters victor who had the last laugh at the Genesis Open on Sunday evening when he proved dunks are easier without defenders.

The two-time Masters victor recorded bogey-free back nine at Riviera to edge out Kevin Na and Tony Finau by two strokes to lift his first PGA Tour title for two years after falling from inside the world top ten to No.117 in the rankings.

T-Mac reminded Bubba who belongs on the court and who belongs on the course.

Bubba Watson ended two years without winning by picking up his third victory at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.

Watson pointed to missing out on the 2016 Ryder Cup team as part of the reason for his slide over the past two years.

Genesis Open- Round One
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"I was going through a motivational spell a year ago, after I won (the US Tour's) Zurich Classic; I lost my drive a little but he's given me a lot of advice on resetting your goals".

Watson struggled throughout 2017, including with an undisclosed illness that led to a significant weight loss, and entered the Genesis Open ranked 117th in the world with no top-30 finishes over his previous six tournaments.

"I played well today", said Cantlay, who was in the clubhouse with a seven-under-par total of 135.

Na hit a wedge close to perfection from the worst angle on the reachable par-4 10th hole for a birdie and two-putted for birdie on the 11th to briefly take the lead. He even considered retirement.

"He's very close", McIlroy said. "These are two tough venues, and it was tough on me". It further enhances his credentials to reach the World Golf Hall of Fame whenever he chooses to retire. "I knew I had to make a run on that back nine and I went the other way". 3, 6 and 9 - and went out in one-over 36. Both players shot final-round 2-under 69s.

Watson said the key to success at Riveria is understanding some bounces won't go your way. To Watson, his shot-shaping prowess comes naturally.

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"This golf course is a blast", Watson said. "That's why I have the best seat in the house".

Early in the season, Watson fell ill and said his weight dipped down to around 165 pounds, leaving him feeling a little weak. He and his wife, Angie, along with their two children live in the Pensacola area. His opening outings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai produced solid returns, but that was followed by a missed cut at Pebble Beach, before his T-20 finish at Riviera.

"I haven't played golf in years, but I'm starting to come back and it's going to take a little time". Then he dunked it from the bunker at No. 14. After a disappointing par on the 17th, he birdied Riviera's historic 18th hole for the second straight day, giving him a share of the lead for a brief time.

In typical Bubba fashion, there's a hilarious story - call it potty humor - about his hole-out. Not knowing if you're ever going to make it again, you don't know.

Yelling during backswings is commonplace, as are the calls of "Get in the hole!" and "You da man!"

23-26, will be played for the 12 year at PGA National, a short drive from Woods' home at Jupiter Island.

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Watson had a better plan.

But it's tiring. I need a couple of Advil. Then Smith came over and congratulated Watson on calling his shot. He taped a segment for Jay Leno's Garage show, visited with Ellen DeGeneres and watched a taping of The Big Bang Theory. Just another week in the life of Watson, who spends his downtime on Segways, playing mini-golf, or zipping across the Baltic Sea on an inflatable raft. Sunday was his 10th career victory. Head case. Hooking the ball. Somehow we're here making fun of it. "I never thought I could get there". Hogan's victories include a U.S. Open.

"I didn't play as cleanly as I would have liked, but I really stayed in it and made a bunch of putts and pitched the ball really well".

Winners are winners and perhaps he just lost the feel for a while, but you could see how much he wanted it by how aggressively he played, always at the right times. I have a auto dealership, a candy shop (Bubba's Sweet Spot on Palafox) and a baseball team, so we would have had something to do.

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