Emotional Bubba ends two-year wait for a trophy
There were tears for two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson as he finally got his hands on another trophy after a two-year wait.
The maverick left-hander is one to wear his heart on his sleeve and he didn’t hold back after securing victory at the Genesis Open.
A mystery illness - which caused him to lose 20lbs - nearly made Watson quit the sport. But, despite his 117 world ranking, his winning instincts were back as he stayed clear of a chasing pack to win by two shots at the Riveria Country Club.
"There were so many emotions going through my head, it’s been the lowest point I've ever been at in the game," he said afterwards. "I didn't know if I was ever going to play again and I certainly didn't know if I was ever going to win again."
Americans Kevin Na and Tony Finau were his closest rivals but former Champion Golfer Phil Mickelson enjoyed another top finish, his third consecutive week in the top ten, coming home four shots behind Watson.
After serving as a last-minute assistant Ryder Cup captain two years ago, Watson is now dreaming of making the team in France this September. “I’ve been bugging Jim Furyk for the longest time,” he said. “I told him I want to be a co-captain, and he’s been texting back to me this week, ‘No, you’re too good. You need to be on our team playing.’”
McIlroy staying upbeat about his form
Rory McIlroy - the Champion Golfer at Royal Liverpool four years ago - could only watch as Watson returned to the winners’ circle. His winless run is not quite two years but at nearly 17 months, it’s still the longest of his career. “I feel like the position that I finished here didn't quite reflect how I played,” McIlroy said, after finishing in a tie for 20th. "I just need to sharpen up a couple of areas but I feel good about my game" he added.
European Tour win number six for Luiten
It was obviously a weekend for ending droughts - as Holland’s Joost Luiten won the European Tour’s Oman Open. It was his sixth win on the Tour but his first for 17 months, as he edged out close friend Chris Wood. "It feels great,” said Luiten, who is aiming to become the first Dutchman to play in the Ryder Cup. “I didn't know what to expect when I came here. Winning was beyond my expectation and to hold the trophy is even better.” Luiten won in style, with 21 birdies in his last 54 holes.
Woods to play again next week
After missing the cut in Los Angeles, Tiger Woods has committed to playing in next week’s Honda Classic. He made his debut at the event as a 17-year old in 1993 but has never won - a runner-up place to McIlroy six years ago, his best result.