Sunday, February 8
Nick Watney Wins at Tiger Pines
Nick Watney. (Photo courtesy of Lexus)
IF RIVIERA IS HOGAN’S ALLEY, then I dub Torrey Pines “Tiger Pines” since Tiger Woods has won seven of 12 events in La Jolla, six Buick Invitationals and one epic U.S. Open.
Of course, with Tiger sidelined someone else had a chance to win on his turf. That someone turned out to be the opportunistic Nick Watney as third-round leader John Rollins hiccuped down the stretch.
I felt badly for Rollins, but Watney, aided by solid tee shots and a strong putter, hung around. For example, Watney made an amazing right-to-left breaker on the par-3 16th hole for a birdie. When Rollins made a messy bogey for a two-shot swing, it was game on. Rollins and Watney were suddenly tied and Camilo Villegas was just one back.
At the reachable par-5 18th hole, Watney safely found the green in two with a hybrid. Rollins, however, yanked his approach, leaving himself a nasty short-side bunker shot that rolled 12 feet past the hole. Rollins missed, and Watney two-putted for the win.
Turned pro: 2003
Birthplace: Sacramento, CA
College: Fresno State University
World ranking: 180 (before Buick Invitational)
PGA Tour wins: 2
2009 PGA Tour earnings: $1,108,093
−The Armchair Golfer
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