It took two extra holes, but Bubba Watson’s two-putt from just over 50 feet gave him a birdie and the win Sunday after Simpson failed to get up and down from the greenside bunker and made par.
Watson looked to be the underdog after both of his drives in the playoff holes, the first going left and the second finding a fairway bunker.
Both men parred the first playoff hole but Watson managed a birdie on his third attempt at the 18th of the day. Simpson only managed a par after finding a greenside bunker with his second shot.
Highlights and more info to come.
Round 4 Update
All that stood between Bubba Watson and his second win of the season was 8 feet, 11 inches. But Watson left his birdie putt just short on the 72nd hole to finish regulation at 15 under and in a tie with Webb Simpson.
The two will now head to a playoff beginning on the 18th hole.
In a tie coming to the par-5 finishing hole, both players missed the green short and left on their second shots. Simpson’s third shot, a difficult pitch from the rough, rolled well past the hole and he two-putted for par.
Watson, meanwhile, hit his shot from a fairway bunker short of the green to inside 10 feet and alone the same line as Simpson’s putt. He too was unable to convert.
Of course if it weren’t for a one-shot penalty that Simpson called on himself after his ball apparently moved as he set his putter behind it on the 15th hole.
Round 3 wrap up
Bubba Watson made a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole for a 2-under 70 and a share of third-round lead with Webb Simpson in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Simpson had five straight birdies in a 67 to match Watson, who has had at least a share of the lead after all three rounds, at 12-under at the TPC Louisiana.
"Knowing that if I stroke this well, I'm tied for the lead and not one back, knowing I'm in the final group," said Watson, the Torrey Pines winner in January for his second tour title. "There was a lot of pressure on that for me. Somehow it went in dead center, and so I'm in the final group."
Simpson, winless on the US Tour, birdied Nos. 3-7, then closed with 11 pars. He has a share of the 54-hole lead for the first time in his career.
"I've always slept pretty good going back to college and amateur days holding the lead," said Simpson, who tied for second behind Phil Mickelson on April 3 in Houston. "But this is why we do what we do. This is why we work out, why we practice, to give ourselves a chance to win on the US Tour.
"I think that will kind of calm my nerves."
|Charles Howell III||-10|
Round 2 wrap up
For a course that, according to the player himself, doesn't suit his game Bubba Watson is looking very comfortable at the Zurich Classic.
“There were a lot of tough tee shots for me,” Watson said. “A lot of times the water’s on the left for me being left?handed. So when I look up at the target, there is always water glaring at my face.
“For me, it’s daunting. It’s tough. It’s hard to overcome, but somehow I’m overcoming it right now.”
He sure is. Watson shot 68 in the second round, hitting 11 fairways for a second straight day and 16 greens in the process. He’s 10 under going to the weekend and in position to make a run at his second win of the season.
“It’s fun,” Watson said. “This is what we strive to do. We always want the pressure. We always want the nerves, want the butterflies.”
Watson will certainly have plenty of the latter. He grew up just 2 1/2 hours from TPC Louisiana in the panhandle of Florida.
That also means plenty of fans are there pulling for Watson.
“Any time you have fans, it means you’re doing something right,” Watson said. “Hopefully I can play good and not embarrass myself in front of this crowd. So far, so good.”
Round 1 wrap up
Bubba Watson only enterred the Zurich Classic as a favour to his mother but still managed to grab a share of the lead after the first round.
"My mom really wanted me to come. My mom always comes to this golf tournament, so when my mom says she wants to come, I'm here. And somehow I shot 6 under today," Watson said.
He shares the first-round lead with Matt Jones, after the pair carded 66s.
But he doesn't sound that confident of being able to keep it up for four straight rounds.
"The way the course is, it just doesn't fit my eye the way it is," Watson said. "It's a great golf course, a great layout. For me, it's just not one that I want to play every day.
"Today, it just worked out. I hit my driver really well. I've been hitting it good all year, but I made some putts and hit some good iron shots and somehow came out 6 under."
Jones grabbed a share of the lead with a superb 57-foot chip-in for birdie at the last hole.
"I pitched it perfectly," Jones said. "It grabbed a little and just trickled in nicely."