Bubba Watson's face says it all in moment he didn't think possible

Lynette Rowe
February 20, 2018

The southern California native grew up playing Riviera, and indeed played his first US PGA Tour event here as a 16-year-old in 1992.

One-over for the day after three bogeys and two birdies on the front nine, Watson produced three birdies without a bogey coming home for a 12-under-par total of 272.A spectacular hole-out for birdie from a greenside bunker at the 14th gave him sole possession of the lead for good.

The two-times Masters champion dropped outside the top 100 in the world - 117th when he arrived at Riviera - but will move into the top-50 with his latest victory. If anything, the only talk of retirement should be whether settle down off Sunset Boulevard.

Smith received encouragement from playing the first two rounds with three-time major victor Singh.

LPGA - Jin Young Ko shot a 3-under 69 to clinch a 3-shot, start-to-finish win in the Women's Australian Open at Adelaide. Cantlay stumbled after the turn though, dropping shots after encountering tree-trouble on the 12th and 13th holes. Finau lurked all day. Finau's last chance was an eagle putt on the 17th that stopped inches short.

The Portrush man has a share of the lead at seven-under par with Patrick Cantlay after two rounds at the Genesis Open - a tournament where he's previously failed the weekend on three out of five occasions. But he went after birdie and watched the ball roll 20 feet down the hill, leading to bogey. Mickelson (68) tied for sixth. It was his third successive Top-10, and first since 2009.

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That ended a good weekend for Watson, who also participated in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday night smack dab in the middle of the Genesis Open. But then, Watson has covered a lot of ground in his career on his way to 10 Tour victories. I was seventh in the world, didn't get picked for the Ryder Cup. which I shouldn't have.

"We're gaining on it, and that's why I'm playing more golf right now", Watson said. "He said, 'how do you putt?' I said, 'I don't know.' He said, 'well, aim it to the right when it breaks to the left, aim it to the left when it breaks to the right, ' exactly how you imagine your golf ball in the fairway or off the tee, however you imagine it, imagine it that way". You never know if you're going to lift a trophy again.

Cantlay, a former top-ranked amateur, will be seeking his second US PGA Tour title, after winning in Las Vegas in November. Watson already had two green jackets.

Saunders played bogey-free over his final 16 holes on a firm, hard course at Riviera for a 4-under 67 to share the lead with Tom Hoge and Dominic Bozzelli among the early starters Thursday.

Things were even rougher on back nine, as he bogeyed four times against two birdies, both of which came on par-5s. Watson finished the week on a four-round score of 12-under-par. He had only holed out one shot from off the green anywhere in 19 tournament starts this season.

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