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The Takeaway

Watson wins his third Genesis

by Mo Yoshimoto
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Genesis Open

Pacific Palisades, CA



Overnight leader and World No. 117 Bubba Watson tossed up a 2-under-par 36-33=69 in Sunday's final round at Riviera Country Club to reach 12-under 272, good for a two-shot win over Kevin Na (69) and first-round co-leader Tony Finau (69), and his third Genesis Open title in 12 appearances.


The 39-year-old, a pre-tourney 50/1 outright, claims his 10thPGA TOUR title in 279 career events, first since here in 2016 (42 starts and 2 years ago this week).


“You have to remember my goal was very simple,” Watson said. “Make the PGA TOUR. When you get to the TOUR, you want to win. Double-digit wins? I am thrilled. Nobody thought Bubba Watson from Bagdad, Florida, could ever get to 10 wins. Let’s be honest. No lessons. Head case. Hooking the ball. Slicing the ball. Can’t putt. Somehow we’re here.”


For a guy who’s recently contemplated retirement – privately and publicly – this win was pretty heady stuff.



Final Leaderboard:



1- Bubba Watson 68-70-65-69= 272 (-12)

T2- Kevin Na 68-70-67-69= 274 (-10)

T2- Tony Finau 66-71-68-69= 274 (-10)

T4- Scott Stallings 71-68-68-68= 275 (-9)

T4- Patrick Cantlay 66-69-69-71= 275 (-9)




Leader/co-leaders by Round:



R1: Patrick Cantlay (finished T4): Drops to 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader

R1: Tony Finau (T2): Drops to 0-for-3


R2: Patrick Cantlay (T4): Drops to 0-for-2 as 36-hole leader/co-leader

R2: Graeme McDowell (T26): Drops to 2-for-4


R3: Bubba Watson (Won): Improves to 4-for-11 as 54-hole leader/co-leader*


*Note: Bubba is three for his last four, including two straight.




Watson’s Position by Round:



R1: T6

R2: T6

R3: 1



R3 was Watson’s first 54-hole lead/co-lead on TOUR since here in 2016. In fact, R3 at the 2016 Genesis (formerly Northern Trust) Open, was the last time he led/co-led after ANY round on TOUR.


As mentioned, this was the Georgia alum’s third win at the Genesis. Overall, he’s now 7-for-12 with seven top 25s and three top 10s, all wins.



2018 Genesis (54-hole leader by 1)

R4: began 1st

Shot: 2-under 69

Winning Margin: 2 shots

Career Start: 279

Outright Odds: 50/1

Draw: LATE/early



2016 Genesis (Northern Trust) Open (54-hole leader by 1)

R4: began 1st  

Shot: 3-under 68

Winning Margin: 1 shot

Career Start: 237

Outright Odds: 22/1

Draw: EARLY/late



2014 Genesis (Northern Trust) Open (come from behind, 4-shot deficit)

R4: began T6  

Shot: 7-under 64

Winning Margin: 2 shots

Career Start: 197

Outright Odds: 28/1

Draw: LATE/early



Genesis Form: 1-WD-1-T14-1-CUT-T13-WD-CUT-T17-T14-CUT







Watson won his first TOUR title, the 2010 Travelers, in his 122ndcareer start and fifth season on TOUR. Translated, that means he’s won nine times in his last 157 starts since, roughly a win percentage of 6% over that time-frame.



Wins by Season:



2018: 1

2017: 0

2016: 1

2015: 2

2014: 2

2013: 0

2012: 1

2011: 2

2010: 1






279: starts

202: cuts made (72%)


114: top 25s (40%)

57: top 10s (20%)

29: top 3s (10%)

10: wins (3%)




Watson is now 5-for-6 on the season and this was his first top 25. He checked in off a T40 at the WM Phoenix Open and a previous-best T35 at last week’s AT&T Pro-Am, so a little trendy on arrival. Watson is the second straight “lefty” to win on TOUR, joining fellow Floridian Ted Potter, Jr.


This was his first top 10 since T10 at THE NORTHERN TRUST (first FedExCup Playoffs event) last season.






On 22 starts, Watson finished 75th in the FedExCup standings last season, a career worst. He slotted 91st in money ($1,223,129), which was also a career low. Sunday’s check: $1,296,000.






With $38,036,031 in earnings, Watson now ranks 16th in Career Money on TOUR. That’s one spot ahead of Rory McIlroy and one behind Jason Day.






With $4,136,095 in earnings, Watson now ranks 1stin Career Money at the Genesis. He bumped defending champ Dustin Johnson, who finished T16, down to 3rd, while two-time past champion Phil Mickelson moved up one spot to 2nd. Speaking of Phil, he finished T6 this week for his third straight top 10 on TOUR. The last time he did that was in 2009, but that included a Match-Play T9. The last time he connected three stroke-play top 10s: 2007.




How Bubba Golf Won on Sunday:



After opening in 68-70-65, Watson began with a one-shot lead over 18- and 36-hole co-leader Patrick Cantlay, two clear of four players, including Cameron Smith who completed the final threesome. Cantlay and Smith both shot 71 to finish T4 and T6, respectively.


Bubba hit nine (of 14) fairways and nine greens in regulation, losing 2.402 strokes approaching-the-green but gaining 1.194 off-the-tee and 1.738 around-the-green. He squared three bogeys at holes 3, 6, and 9, silenced by five circles at 1, 8, 11, 14 and 17, highlighted by a hole-out birdie-2 at 14 from a greenside bunker from 48’7” away.


The hole out, which may have run off the green had it not when in the center of the cup, basically seized control of the tournament. From there, he posted two routine pars, added a 2-putt birdie at 17 for a two-shot lead, and capped with an up-and-down par-saver at the last from 7’8”. Bubba recorded 1.778 putts per GIR and 1.852 SG: Putting with 26 total putts.




Bubba’s Round 4 Stats (ranking of 76 players):



SG: Off-the-Tee:

1.19 (8th)


SG: Approach-the-Green:

-2.4 (72nd)


SG: Around-the-Green:

1.74 (8th)


SG: Putting:

1.85 (9th)


SG: Total:

2.38 (T11)



26 (T23)




Field Scoring Average:



This was the 92nd playing of the Genesis and 53rd edition at the 7,322-yard par-71 (35-36) Riviera CC (19th consecutive).


Due to darkness, rounds 1 and 2 were each contested over two-day periods.


The cumulative scoring averages: R1: 72.20; R2: 72.14; R3: 70.61; R4: 71.38


Total: 71.759


Watson posted rounds of 68-70-65-69 for 14.324 SG: Total




Bubba’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 76 players):



Eagles: 1 (T6)

Birdies: 20 (2nd)

Bogeys: 8 (6th)

Double Bogeys: 1 (T39)



Par-3 Scoring: 2.75 (T1)

Par-4 Scoring: 4.00 (T6)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.33 (T8)



Driving Distance (all drives): 293 yards (19th)

Driving Accuracy: 32/56 (T27) at 57.14%

GIR: 46/72 (T7) at 63.89%

Proximity to Hole: 36’4” (9th)

Putts per GIR: 1.652 (13th)

Total Putts: 108 (T16)

Putts by Round: 29-29-24-26

Scrambling: 18/26 (T20) at 69.23%

All Around: (1st)



SG: Off-the-Tee: 2.46 (17th)

SG: Approach-the-Green: 4.46 (11th)

SG: Around-the-Green: 4.34 (6th)

SG: Putting: 3.07 (21st)

SG: Tee-to-Green: 11.26 (2nd)







A total of 76 pros from a field of 143 pros and one amateur made the 36-hole cut of 2-over 144:



39 (of 70) EARLY/late; 2 WDs

37 (of 71) LATE/early; 1 WD



(of 13) players who finished in the top 10 were LATE/early:



LATE/early (8):


Bubba Watson (Won); Tony Finau (T2); Patrick Cantlay (T4); Adam Hadwin (T6); Cameron Smith (T6); Jordan Spieth (T9); Xander Schauffele (T9); Martin Laird (T9)



EARLY/late (5):


Kevin Na (T2); Scott Stallings (T4); Phil Mickelson (T6); Justin Thomas (T9); Ryan Moore (T9)







7 (of 15) tourneys this season with a traditional draw:





EARLY/late: 3


LATE/early: 4




Low Rounds:



R1: 66: Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau

R2: 66: Graeme McDowell, Austin Cook

R3: 64: Dustin Johnson

R4: 66: Adam Hadwin




Bogey-free Rounds:



R1: Chez Reavie (68)

R2: Martin Kaymer (67); Cameron Smith (68)

R3: Dustin Johnson (64); Cameron Smith (65); Adam Hadwin (66)





Multiple bogey-free rounds:



Cameron Smith (x2)




Career-Best Finishes:







Updated Top 10 in FEC standings (points):



Watson collects 500 FEC points for the victory and leapfrogs 148 places to 18thin the FEC standings. Patton Kizzire (idle) stays atop the standings for a sixth event in a row and eighth week overall this season.



1. Patton Kizzire (1,247)

2. Dustin Johnson (952); UP one

3. Jon Rahm (936); DOWN one

4. Brendan Steele (820); UP one

5. Jason Day (814); DOWN one

6. Tony Finau (814); UP 10

7. Chez Reavie (792); DOWN one

8. Pat Perez (790); DOWN one

9. Justin Thomas (758); UP one

10. Patrick Cantlay (757); UP one



Note: Gary Woodland (idle) dropped from 8th to 11th and Austin Cook (T49) dropped from 9th to 12th.




Updated Top 10 in OWGR:



With a Strength of Field rating of 500 (down from 567 last year), Watson banks 62.00 world-ranking points and catapults 77 spots to 40th in OWGR. His career high is 2nd after the 2015 Valspar and moved from 6th to 4th when he won here in 2016.



1. Dustin Johnson

2. Jon Rahm

3. Jordan Spieth

4. Justin Thomas

5. Justin Rose

6. Hideki Matsuyama

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Jason Day

9. Brooks Koepka

10. Rory McIlroy




Tommy Fleetwood (T37): nudges one spot to a career-high 12th.

Dustin Johnson (T16): ascended to World No. 1 for the first time with his win here last year and has kept the No. 1-ranking ever since. Jason Day was the previous No. 1 for 47 consecutive weeks.




Field Breakdown & Top-10 Finishes:



OWGR field average: 252nd  

OWGR average for top-10 finishers: 67th  



14 of the Top 25 in OWGR were in the field

3 finished in the top 10



27 of the Top 50 OWGR

6 finished in the top 10



No. 3 Jordan Spieth (T9)

No. 4 Justin Thomas (T9)

No. 25 Xander Schauffele (T9); bumps three to career-high 22nd

No. 35 Phil Mickelson (T6)

No. 39 Patrick Cantlay (T4); bumps five to career-high 34th

No. 41 Tony Finau (T2); bumps eight to career-high 33rd



Other Top 10s:



No. 57 Adam Hadwin (T6)

No. 58 Cameron Smith (T6)

No. 70 Ryan Moore (T9)

No. 95 Kevin Na (T2)

No. 116 Martin Laird (T9)

No. 117 Bubba Watson (Won)

No. 209 Scott Stallings (T4)



Other Notables:



No. 1 Dustin Johnson (T16); defender

No. 10 Rory McIlroy (T20)

No. 13 Tommy Fleetwood (T37)

No. 16 Alex Noren (T16)

No. 17 Paul Casey (T49)




Season Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:



5: Brian Harman

4: Phil Mickelson, Patton Kizzire, Chesson Hadley

3: Pat Perez, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson, Brian Gay, Cameron Smith, Andrew Landry, Marc Leishman, Brian Stuard




Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:



6: Justin Rose (T8-1-T10-T2-T10-T10)


3: Phil Mickelson (T6-T2-T5)


2: Jason Day (T2-P1)

2: Scott Stallings (T4-7)

2: Martin Laird (T9-T9)




Consecutive Top-10 streaks ended:



3: Dustin Johnson (T16-T2-1-T2)

2: Chez Reavie (T73-T2-P2)

2: Brian Gay (CUT-T8-T9)




Consecutive Top-25 streaks on TOUR:



10: Jason Day (T2-P1-T11-T11-T17-4-T25-T6-T9-T24)


7: Justin Thomas (T9-T17-T14-T22-P1-T17-2)

6: Justin Rose (T8-1-T10-T2-T10-T10)

5: Dustin Johnson (T16-T2-1-T2-T17)




Consecutive Top-25 streaks ENDED at:



5: Paul Casey (T49-T8-T11-T19-T7-5)

4: Daniel Berger (CUT-T11-T14-T11-T24)




Season Leaders in Top-25 finishes:



8: Chez Reavie

7: Brandon Harkins

6: Justin Thomas, Brian Harman, Cameron Smith, Austin Cook




TOUR Rookies &/or First-Timers:



TOUR Rookies:11

Top-10 finishes: 0



Talor Gooch: The Oklahoma State alum took top-rookie honors with T20 on 3-under 281 (73-70-67-71). It’s the third time this season in 10 starts that he’s been low rookie (T18 Sony; T16, Shriners).


Season Form: T20-CUT-T51-T67-T18-CUT-T41-T16-T30-T54


Starts: 10

Made Cuts: 8


Top 25s: 3

Top 10s: 0


FEC Rank: 83rd (UP six)

OWGR: 202nd (UP 16)




First-Timers: 29

Top-10 finishes: 1



Xander Schauffele: The SDSU alum was top debutant with T9 on 7-under 277 (71-70-68-68).


Season Form: T9-T17-CUT-T32-T22-T46-T72-T3


Starts: 8

Made Cuts: 7


Top 25s: 4

Top 10s: 2


FEC Rank: 35th (UP six)

OWGR: 22nd (UP three); career high




Picking a Winner:





Through 15 events this season:



4 winners were in their 20s

9 were in their 30s (Watson: age: 39)

2 were in their 40s





10 (of 15) winners had a top-25 finish the start prior (66.0%):

Watson? No, T35 (AT&T Pro-Am)





4 (of 15) winners had a top-10 finish the start prior (26.0%)





Average winner’s pre-tourney odds outright (rounded)





In the last 108 events on TOUR, the pre-tourney fave/co-fave has won 8 times for a conversion percentage of 7.4%.



This Season:


15 tournaments

2 pre-tourney fave/co-faves won:


Jon Rahm: 8/1 (CareerBuilder)

Justin Thomas: 15/2 (CJ CUP)




This week’s favorite(s):


Dustin Johnson (9/2): Defender finished eight shots back with T16 on 4-under 280 (74-69-64-73), his fourth straight top 25 to open the season. DJ had been the 54-hole leader/co-leader in all three of his previous starts this season; was T8 this week after a week-low 64 in R3; but was unable to mount any sort of charge on Sunday.  



Last week’s winner(s):


Ted Potter, Jr. (CUT)