Watney earns second win of seasonNEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – Nick Watney followed a course-record score on Saturday with a much bigger personal achievement on Sunday as he became a two-time winner in a season for the first time in his career. Watney closed with a 4 under 66 for a 13 under 267 total and finished two shots clear of K.J. Choi.
Watney’s win was the fourth of his career and follows a win at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March. He went over $4 million in earnings for the year and registered his 12th top-25 finish in the 13 events he has made the cut in. He has missed only two cuts.
After his front-nine on Saturday, Watney was just hoping to make some birdies and maybe find a way to get into the tournament. But, something changed and he suddenly got himself into a zone most players can only dream about.
“For some reason the hole just got bigger for me,” Watney said. “I'm overjoyed to be in here as the winner. It was a very difficult, long day. K.J. played great golf, and he kept coming and coming, and that makes it even more rewarding.”
Watney took over the lead on the year’s money-list, passing World No. 1 Luke Donald in the process, but, he wasn’t willing to say he had it all figured out.
“ I mean, this game is -- I said back on the green, if somebody would have watched me putt last week, they wouldn't believe that I would be sitting here with you guys,” Watney added. “I think it's just kind of my journey. Obviously Rory is 22 years old or whatever, so in years he's a lot way ahead of me.
“But I think I'm just really trying to work hard and kind of assess my game and work on the weaknesses. I'm doing some good work with Butch (Harmon); Dr. Mo (Morris Pickens) has been great for me; my caddie Chad has been great. It's just been -- I feel like it's a process, and I just need to keep working hard and hopefully keep winning.”
Tee times were moved up and players went out in threes on the first and 10th tees to try and get the final-round in without having to go to a Monday finish. It worked out well as play was never interrupted even though skies look threatening at times.
Charles Howell III, Jeff Overton and Adam Scott shared third at 9 under, Chris Stroud and Robert Allenby tied for sixth at minus-8 and Webb Simpson, Bryce Molder and Chris Kirk finished another shot back to share eighth-place.
For Choi, it wasn’t the win players always look for when they tee it up on Thursday, but it was continued momentum on what has already been a great year for him.
“Yeah, even this week and this year is a very fantastic to play,” Choi said. “My swing and my body is more better than last year, my great short game and good rhythm. Today, I was very impressed playing with Nick Watney. On the front nine three times 15, 20 feet and make par. Good putting and everything. He makes it, fantastic. Today, Nick Watney is a wonderful player. Does a very good job playing, fantastic.
“AT&T National is always first-class tournament. I'm happy to be defending 2007 champion and second place this week,”he added.
Scott got what he had come to the Philadelphia area for, a good result. He needed only 26 putts in each of his weekend rounds and leaves for the British Open with a positive frame of mind.
“That's a real positive,” the Aussie said of his putting. “Obviously the greens are very nice here. If you hit good putts, they're going in. I feel like I hit a lot of good putts with that long putter. You know, I'm really happy with where things are at. The purpose of coming here was to get a result before the Open and build up a bit of confidence, and I think I've done that.
Were it not for a poor tee-shot at the 10th, Scott knew he could have made a more serious run at Watney.
“Yeah, everything was good except the tee shot off the 10th.” he said. “I put it in the worst spot, really. It was a terrible shot. That was disappointing because I was still a fair few back, but I could have made a run, I guess, with some really great golf. But 10 really put me on the back foot. So I was just pleased to kind of recover from that and play solid the rest of the back nine. I made the most of the week, and I played well this week, so to make the most of it was important.”
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