Rory McIlroy: Crazy golf galleries cost Tiger Woods two shots every tournament

Rory McIlroy: Crazy golf galleries cost Tiger Woods two shots every tournament

Javier Howell
February 20, 2018

But Watson went bogey-free on the back nine and his chip-in for birdie at the par-3 14th hole gave him a two-shot lead that he never relinquished.

Watson's final round saw two birdies and three bogeys before the turn, although he pulled ahead with a trio of birdies on the back nine to secure a two-under round of 69. "I missed every tee shot left and I did not putt well, didn't feel very good on the greens and consequently never made a run".

Starting on the back nine, Johnson began steady carding a birdie, but went on to pick up shots on the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th, and an eagle on the 1st.

McDowell opened his five-under par 66 with three straight birdies at the 10th, 11th and 12th.

It was their first competitive outing in three years and McIlroy's mind inevitably drafted back. Kevin Na posted his best finish since he was T-2 at the 2015 Shriners Open by carding a final-round 69 and finishing at 10 under, tied for second with Tony Finua, who closed in 69, as well, and notched his third top-10 finish of the season.

Since the 2016 Ryder Cup, where Watson was vice-captain after failing to get one of Davis Love III's captain's picks, he had managed only two top tens and, at a very low ebb, the left-hander admitted he considered quitting.

American Sam Saunders was seven-under with three to play when darkness fell with a handful of players on the course. Ryan Moore held a share of the lead at one point as well, before fading with late bogeys. Hogan's wins include a US Open.

Watson showed up at Riviera at No. 117 in the world.

He said his game for the past several months had been much better than those results indicated.

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"I'm playing well enough to compete week in and week out now", Mickelson said. "He's a pretty good ways away", Justin Thomas said after his 69.

Woods, as host of the tourney that benefits his foundation, will stick around for the weekend even though he won't be on the tee sheet.

Bubba Watson ended two years without winning with his third victory at Riviera.

He was also irked by his irons and, on Friday, uncomfortable with his putter.

"My wedge game is fine", he said.

"I think everyone just has to be patient with him, especially him being patient with it and just give himself time".

"Hoping my vehicle doesn't break down so we get there, so I can say I played or sat the bench", Watson said.

Johnson's victory at Riviera a year ago catapulted him to number one in the world, and he has now maintained the top spot for 52 straight weeks - just the fifth golfer since the rankings were introduced in 1986 to stay on the summit for so long.

It was a moment to savour at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, for Watson, 39, who had considered retiring due to concerns over his physical ability.