Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

A calmer Watson prevails

Bubba Watson wins the Zurich Classic of New Orleans for his second PGA Tour victory of the year and third of his career.

Associated Press

Bubba Watson wins the Zurich Classic of New Orleans for his second PGA Tour victory of the year and third of his career.

AVONDALE, La. — Bubba Watson has been working on becoming a better man.

He figures he's probably a better player because of it.

Watson overcame a three-stroke deficit over the final eight holes of regulation and beat Webb Simpson in a playoff Sunday at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans for his second PGA Tour victory of the year and third of his career.

"My wife, my caddie and my trainer would say my attitude's in the right spot," said Watson, 32. "This week, I won (by) not getting down on bad shots, just staying focused on what I'm supposed to be doing."

Simpson took a one-stroke penalty on No. 15 when his ball moved as he was addressing it on the green, less than a foot from the hole.

"I better limit my comments on that rule, because I think it's such a bad rule," Simpson said. "When the wind or other natural things affect the golf ball, the player shouldn't be penalized. … But Bubba deserves a win, and I'm pretty happy for him."

Watson, who won at Torrey Pines in January, matched Simpson with 3-under 69 to finish at 15-under 273. Both birdied No. 18 on the first extra hole.

Watson opened the second playoff hole with a 329-yard drive that narrowly missed the water and landed in a bunker. He hit his second shot — a 7-iron — 210 yards to the green on the 568-yard, par-5 18th.

Simpson's second shot landed in a bunker short of the green, and he blasted out to 12 feet.

After Simpson missed his birdie putt, Watson made a 3-foot birdie putt for the victory, which earned him $1,152,000 and moved him up from No. 16 to No. 10 in the world.

Watson's mother, Molly, asked him to play in the event so she could drive from her Pensacola area home to watch him.

"I want to ask mom where else I should play," he said.

And his wife, Angie, has been telling him to work on his composure on the course.

"She told me that I'm playing golf for a living, it's a dream come true and … I've got to act differently," he said. "If I'm going to support kids and do charity work, (getting angry on the course) is not a good example."

LPGA: Maria Hjorth took advantage of Alexis Thompson's collapse in a failed bid to become the youngest tour winner, rallying at the Avnet LPGA Classic in Mobile, Ala., for her fifth tour title. Hjorth shot her second straight 5-under 67 to finish at 10-under 278, two ahead of Song-Hee Kim (71).

"I knew I just had to be patient," said Hjorth, 37, who earned $195,000 then donated $20,000 of her winnings to the American Red Cross tornado relief efforts in Alabama.

Thompson, 16, was tied for the lead entering the round but shot 78 to tie for 19th at 1 under.

"I just didn't hit it very solid," she said. " … I wasn't even that nervous surprisingly."

Tampa's Kristy McPherson (71) tied for 32nd at 1 over, and Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (75) tied for 37th at 2 over.

Westwood wins: Top-ranked Lee Westwood began the day three back but rallied for his second straight win, shooting 5-under 67 to beat Miguel Angel Jimenez (71) by a stroke at the Ballantine's Championship in Seoul, South Korea. Westwood, 38, the English star who won the Asian Tour's Indonesian Masters last week to regain the No. 1 ranking, finished at 12-under 276 in the event sanctioned by the European Tour and Asian Tour and Korea PGA.

A calmer Watson prevails 05/01/11 [Last modified: Sunday, May 1, 2011 10:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)