Channel NewsAsia

Golf: Watson wins at Riviera

Bubba Watson has won the $6.7 million Northern Trust Open for his first title since the 2012 Masters.

LOS ANGELES: Bubba Watson won the $6.7 million Northern Trust Open on Sunday for his first title since the 2012 Masters.

Watson capped a flawless seven-under par 64 with a birdie at the 18th hole.

His 15-under total of 269 gave him a two-stroke victory over eight-time US PGA Tour winner Dustin Johnson.

Johnson closed with a five-under par 66 at Riviera Country Club for 271.

Monday qualifier Jason Allred had three birdies in his three-under 68 for a share of third place on 272 alongside Brian Harman, who closed with a 68.

Another former Masters champion, South African Charl Schwartzel, was alone in fifth place after a 68 for 273.

Schwartzel was one of the four players who shared the lead early in the round before Watson edged ahead.

Watson's victory was his fifth US PGA Tour title. Although it ended a drought of nearly two years, he had shown signs recently that he could be headed back to the winner's circle soon.

He took a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Phoenix Open earlier this month, but settled for a share of second behind Kevin Stadler after missing a five-footer to save par at the 72nd hole and force a playoff.

Watson had surged into contention at Riviera on Saturday with a flawless seven-under par 64 that was his best round in eight starts at the classic course west of downtown Los Angeles.

Four off the lead after 54 holes, he delivered another beauty that featured five birdies in his first eight holes.

That included holing out from a greenside bunker at the par-three sixth.

Watson rolled in a 16-foot birdie putt to take a one-shot lead at the eighth, and stretched his lead to two strokes with a birdie at the par-five 11th.

Johnson and Schwartzel tried to keep the pressure on.

Johnson birdied the 15th to trim the lead to one, but he couldn't take advantage of the par-five 17th and was in the clubhouse one stroke off Watson's lead.

Schwartzel bounced back from a bogey at the 13th by holing out from a bunker for a birdie at the par-three 14th, but a bogey at 15 effectively ended his challenge.

Watson kept his nose in front with six clutch pars before finishing with a flourish at the last.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna