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Northern Trust Open Recap: Bubba Ends Drought

Northern Trust Open Recap: Bubba Ends Drought

In a week that saw significant rainfall replenish drought-stricken Northern California, Bubba Watson ended his own drought on Sunday by winning the Northern Trust Open at Los Angeles’ Riviera Country Club.

With the victory, Watson ended a 41-PGA Tour event winless streak going back to his win at the 2012 Masters.

Riviera is a course that can expose a player’s weaknesses. But this weekend, the field disarmed the iconic Hogan’s Alley as golfers rolled in birdie after birdie.

Putting on a scintillating display, Watson went the final 39 holes without a bogey and finished the weekend carding a pair of 7-under 64 rounds to hold off Dustin Johnson. In a tournament defined by low figures, it was Watson who played mistake-free golf when it mattered most.

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Ultimately, it was the slew of birdies peppering Watson’s card that earned him Sunday’s win, but a pair of par saves on the 12th and 13th holes revealed the steady resolve that has been missing from his game since donning the green jacket in 2012.

Walking onto the 18th green, Watson only needed a 2-putt to claim his fifth PGA Tour win. In keeping with his penchant for the dynamic, Watson rolled in his seventh birdie of the afternoon.

Johnson did make a charge, but like last weekend at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, he failed to give himself enough birdie opportunities to close the gap and claim his first victory of 2014. Still, of the four tournaments he’s played in this year, Johnson has yet to finish outside of the top 10.

When Watson won at Augusta, his wife and newly adopted son were watching on television. This week, he shared the moment with his family. While the Masters may be the win that defines his career, a victory against a strong international field may be the kick-start Watson needs to claim his second major.

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