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Watney claims money lead

After shooting bogey-free golf over the final 27 holes, Nick Watney finishes at 13 under to tie the record at the AT&T National and move to the top of the FedEx Cup standings for the first time in his career.

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After shooting bogey-free golf over the final 27 holes, Nick Watney finishes at 13 under to tie the record at the AT&T National and move to the top of the FedEx Cup standings for the first time in his career.

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. — Never mind that Nick Watney was the highest-ranked player at the AT&T National, or that he won a World Golf Championship in March. Stepping to the first tee Sunday in a tie for the lead, he had reason to feel overlooked.

After he was announced, one fan called out, "Go, Rickie!" Several others in the large gallery wore bright orange shirts and flat-brimmed caps to show their support for Rickie Fowler, a 22-year-old who was tied for the lead and going after his first PGA Tour win.

"He's obviously a very popular player," Watney said. "I would say there were probably a few more Fowler fans out there. But it is what it is. Sometimes you play away games or whatever."

Watney doesn't have the panache of Fowler, but his game is starting to get plenty of attention.

Playing the weekend at Aronimink in a staggering 12 under, and going the final 27 holes without a bogey, Watney closed with 4-under 66 for a two-shot victory over K.J. Choi (67) to win for the second time this year and move to No. 10 in the world.

Watney, whose other win this year was a World Golf Championship against an elite field at Doral, also put himself atop the FedEx Cup standings and the PGA Tour money list for the first time.

"It's a very addictive feeling to be out there and under the gun," said Watney, who had rounds of 62-66 on the weekend.

Watney finished in 13-under 267, tying the tournament record set by Tiger Woods in 2009 when it was played at Congressional. Fowler double-bogeyed the second hole and closed with a 74 to tie for 13th.

CHAMPIONS: John Cook won the Montreal Championship in Blainville, Quebec, for his third tour title of the year, closing with 6-under 66 for a tournament-record 21-under 195 total. Cook beat Taiwan's Lu Chien-soon (70) by three strokes. Canadian Rod Spittle, a part-time Dunedin resident, broke the course record with a 62 to finish at 15 under.

"I thought 20 would have a good chance," Cook said. "Once I got to 20, I wanted to get to 21."

Watney claims money lead 07/03/11 [Last modified: Monday, July 4, 2011 12:06am]
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