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Saturday, Feb 13, 2016

Late surge gives Watson second win


The best Lefty at Torrey Pines on Sunday turned out to be Bubba Watson.

Watson made clutch putts on the final two holes, including a 12-foot birdie on the par-5 18th for a 5-under 67 to win the Farmers Insurance Open in a finish filled with the kind of drama few could have predicted.

Phil Mickelson - the other Lefty and the San Diego favorite - was one shot behind and was only 228 yards away in the rough when he decided to lay up before Watson attempted his birdie putt.

Then came a loud cheer as Watson sank his putt for a two-shot lead, meaning Mickelson would have to hole out a wedge from 72 yards for eagle to force a playoff. He had his caddie, Jim "Bones" Mackay tend the flag - rare for a full shot from the fairway - and the gallery gasped when the ball landed just behind the hole and started to spin back toward the cup. But it never had a chance.

Mickelson closed with a 69 to finish one shot behind.

Watson finished at 16-under 272 for his second victory, although this one came against a much stronger field than his playoff win at the Travelers Championship last summer.

Tiger Woods, who started the final round eight shots behind, closed with a 75 to end his five-tournament winning streak at Torrey Pines. He had never finished out of the top 10 at Torrey Pines, but wound up 15 shots back in a tie for 44th.

Watson held off Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Jhonattan Vegas, the Venezuela rookie coming off a win at the Bob Hope Classic last week. Vegas tied Watson for the lead on the 10th hole and stayed in range throughout the back nine until his 5-iron from the first cut of rough on the 18th came up well short and into the water.

PGA EUROPEAN: Paul Casey sank a 5-foot par putt at the last hole to win the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions for his first title in 20 months.

The Englishman closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 20-under 268. Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez, who birdied the last to finish at 269, tied for second.

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