Nick Watney Putts His Way to Victory

by Jeff Skinner

As Dustin Johnson stood in the eighteenth fairway and the sun set over The Blue Monster at Dora, Nick Watney dug deep and steadied himself as he faced a birdie putt that would close the door on Johnson and give Watney his third career win.  With the same steely stroke that had saved his game earlier in the day he stroked the putt into the center of the cup and claimed the title at The WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Watney exacted a bit of revenge from the Blue Monster with only the third birdie of the day on the hole.  Watney had put his approach in the water during the third round which led to a double bogey and cost him a share of the overnight lead.  Also, it was on that green in 2009 when he missed out on a playoff when his chip hung on the lip of the cup.

Watney has some major game and this is his fifth consecutive top ten of 2011 and definitely the best kind of top ten.  In the past Watney has been his own worst enemy as he got kind of squirrely when he is in the hunt down the stretch.  But there was no problem with his nerves today and it was his clutch putting that gave him the victory today.  He made big time clutch par putts at thirteen when he sunk a seventeen footer and at fifteen where he holed one from twenty-four feet. His thirteen foot putt at eighteen must have looked like a tap in.  Watney only needed twenty-two putts over the course of his final round.  When you can roll it in like he was today you’re going to be tough to beat.

He led the field in birdies, tied for third in eagles, had only one double bogey, averaged close to 300 yards with the driver, placed second in greens in regulation and generally sank more putts than anyone else on Sunday.  Watney, 29, continues the trend of the “younger generation” winning on the PGA Tour in 2011.


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