Golf roundup: Bubba Watson rides 64 to victory

Bubba Watson lost track of time. He didn’t realize it had been nearly two years and 41 tournaments since his last victory.

A reminder came Sunday afternoon, after he birdied the 18th hole to win the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles by two shots. Walking up the steps to the clubhouse he saw his son, Caleb, who was adopted shortly before Watson won the 2012 Masters.

Watson was alone in his green jacket that day. This time, wife and son were at Riviera to watch a masterpiece.


He played the final 39 holes without a bogey. He had a 64-64 weekend. He made up a four-shot deficit in six holes, and closed with the lowest round by a winner of this tournament in 28 years.

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This wasn’t ‘‘Bubba golf”. It simply was great golf. Watson finished at 15-under 269, and he couldn’t wait to celebrate.

‘‘When I won the Masters, it was just me,’’ Watson said. ‘‘Family members were there, but not my wife and not my son, who was just adopted at that point, and now is two weeks away from being 2 years old. What a thrill. We'll have some pictures with him and my wife and the trophy, so it’s nice.’’

Watson won by two shots over Dustin Johnson, who closed with a 66 for the second straight week and got the same result — second place. Johnson finished one shot behind Jimmy Walker last week at Pebble Beach.

Watson, who started the final round four shots behind William McGirt (73), made up ground so quickly that he broke out of a four-way tie for the lead with a birdie on the eighth hole and made the turn in 30. Equally critical were a pair of par saves with 7-foot putts on the 12th and 13th holes.


Jason Allred, who went to college up the coast at Pepperdine, played bogey-free for a 68 and tied for third with Brian Harman, who also had a 68. Allred was a Monday qualifier, and this was his first regular PGA Tour event since he last had his card in 2008.

The tie for third was a career best for the 33-year-old Allred. He earned $388,600, which is more than he had in two full seasons on the PGA Tour. He now is exempt into the Honda Classic, which starts in two weeks.

Charl Schwartzel fired a 68 to finish in fifth place.

Jordan Spieth had four bogeys on the back nine and shot 71 to tie for 12th.

Champions — Kirk Triplett won the ACE Group Classic for his third Champions title, holing a 6-foot par putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory in Naples, Fla.


Triplett, 51, shot a 6-under 66 to finish at 16-under 200. He won the 50-and-over tour’s Pebble Beach event the last two years after winning three times on the PGA Tour.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer, Duffy Waldorf, and Olin Browne tied for second.

Playing in the final threesome, Triplett, Langer, and Waldorf were tied for the lead with a hole to play. On the par-4 18th, Waldorf drove into a bunker and wound up with a bogey for a 66. Langer’s second shot sailed left, and his 12-footer for par curled around the cup for bogey and a 67. Triplett’s second shot from a divot landed about 25 feet from the pin. His birdie putt went past the hole and he made the 6-footer for the victory.

European — Thomas Aiken beat Oliver Fisher in a playoff to claim the Africa Open title in East London, South Africa.

Aiken was the 10th home winner in the last 13 tour events in South Africa as he came from four shots off the lead with a final-round 66, tying with Fisher at 20 under par overall.

Aiken won his third tour title and first in his home country by sinking a 30-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole.

David Horsey (65) and American John Hahn (68) were tied for third a shot behind.

LPGA — Karrie Webb won the Women’s Australian Open for the fifth time, shooting a 4-under 68 in the final round to beat Chella Choi (72) by one stroke in Melbourne.

Webb, who clinched her 40th LPGA title, finished at 12-under 276 overall. She previously won the Australian Open in 2000, 2002, 2007, and 2008.

Sixteen-year-old Lydia Ko of New Zealand was also unable to challenge Webb, struggling with her putting on the back nine and shooting a 73. She finished tied for third with Paula Creamer (68) and Karine Icher (71). — Alex Cejka won the season-opening Colombia Championship in Bogota, setting the course record with an 8-under 63 in the completion of the third round before rain washed out play. The 43-year-old Czech-born German birdied four of the last five holes to reach 14-under 199.

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The Eisenhower Tree, so much a part of Augusta National that not even a sitting US president could have it taken down, was removed from the 17th hole this weekend because of damage from an ice storm, the club said Sunday.

The loblolly pine, which sat about 210 yards off the left of the 17th fairway, forced players to aim away from it or try to shape the ball from right-to-left to avoid it.

The tree was named after former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who hit the tree so often that he recommended in 1956 that it be taken down. His request was denied.