Watson edges Simpson to win Zurich Classic

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Watson edges Simpson to win Zurich Classic

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Bubba Watson hits his tee shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the Zurich Classic at the TPC Louisiana on Sunday. [AFP/YONHAP]


AVONDALE, La. - Bubba Watson overcame a three-stroke deficit over the final eight holes of regulation and beat Webb Simpson in a playoff Sunday in the Zurich Classic 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,’’ Watson said. “This week, I won [by] not getting down on bad shots, just staying focused on what I’m supposed to be doing.’’

He also had a little luck. Simpson remained winless on the PGA Tour and was left to wonder what might have been if not for an unusual one-stroke penalty on 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 it’s such a bad rule,’’ said Simpson, who seemed to think windy conditions, combined with relatively dry, hard greens, caused the ball to move. “When the wind or other natural things affect the golf ball, the player shouldn’t be penalized. ... It was just unfortunate, but Bubba deserves a win, and I’m pretty happy for him.’’

Watson, also the winner at Torrey Pines in late January, matched Simpson with a 3-under 69 to finish at 15-under 273 at TPC Louisiana.

Both players birdied the 18th on the first extra hole, with Watson making a 12-foot putt to force the second playoff.

Watson opened the final playoff hole with a 329-yard drive that narrowly stayed out of the water and landed in a fairway 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, near the lip, and he blasted out to 12 feet.

After Simpson narrowly 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.

Choi Kyung-ju, the 2002 Zurich winner, shot a 69 to tie for third at 13 under with Jason Dufner (66) and Tommy Gainey (69). Choi was 14 under after 16 holes, but three-putted for a bogey on the par-3 17th and narrowly missed a birdie putt on 18.

After Watson made his tournament-clinching putt, he hugged his mother, Molly, and wife Angie. In Watson’s estimation, both deserved credit for his latest victory.

His mother, who did not attend his previous two wins, asked him to play in the suburban New Orleans tournament so she could drive from Florida to watch him.

“I want to ask mom where else I should play,’’ said Watson, who had or shared the lead at the end of every round. “Hopefully, it means a lot to her that she got to sweat and cry and do everything that I did and all my emotions that went through 18 holes and the two extra holes.’’

His wife, meanwhile, has been telling him for a while 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,’’ Watson said.


AP


한글 관련 기사 [일간스포츠]

‘뒷심이 부족해’ 김송희·최경주, 정상 문턱에서 주저앉다

김송희(23·하이마트)와 최경주(41·SK텔레콤)가 뒷심 부족으로 정상 문턱에서 주저앉았다.

생애 첫 우승 도전에 나선 김송희는 1일(현지시간) 미국 앨라배마주 모빌의 RTJ 골프트레일(파72·6502야드)에서 끝난 LPGA투어 에브넷클래식 마지막 날 1타를 줄이는 데 그치며 합계 8언더파로 2위에 머물렀다. 우승은 5타를 줄인 마리아 요르트(스웨덴·10언더파)가 차지했다. 2007년 LPGA 투어에 데뷔한 김송희는 여섯 번째 준우승을 기록했다.

같은 날 최경주는 미국 루이지애나주 에이번데일의 루이지애나 TPC(파72·7341야드)에서 끝난 PGA투어 취리히 클래식 마지막 날 3타를 줄이며 합계 13언더파로 공동 3위에 그쳤다. 우승 트로피는 웹 심슨(미국)과의 연장 접전 끝에 승리한 버바 왓슨(미국·15 언더파)이 차지했다.

공동 선두로 출발한 김송희는 12번 홀(파4)에서 3퍼트로 보기를 범했지만 16번 홀(파5)에서 이글을 잡으며 요르트에 1타 차로 따라붙었다. 그러나 요르트가 17번 홀(파3)에서 버디를 추가하며 2타 차 선두로 경기를 먼저 마쳤다. 김송희는 17번 홀에서 그린 밖에서 웨지로 친 두 번째 샷이 홀 바로 옆에 멈춰 아쉬움을 남겼다. 18번 홀(파4)에서는 두 번째 샷이 그린 뒤 벙커에 빠지며 우승 경쟁에서 탈락했다. 최나연(24·SK텔레콤)이 공동 3위(7언더파)에 올랐고, 올해 미국으로 무대를 옮긴 서희경(25·하이트)은 공동 6위(5언더파)로 시즌 첫 '톱10' 진입에 성공했다.

최경주는 짧은 퍼팅에 발목을 잡혔다.

선두에 2타 뒤진 공동 4위로 출발한 최경주는 16번 홀(파4)에서 버디를 낚으며 선두에 한 타차로 따라 붙었다. 하지만 17번 홀(파3)에서 보기가 나오는 바람에 추격에 제동이 걸렸다. 2타 차로 벌어진 가운데 시도한 마지막 18번 홀(파5)에서는 두 번째 샷이 벙커에 빠지며 공동 3위에 만족해야만 했다.

최경주는 15번 홀(파4)에서 2.1m, 17번 홀에선 1.5m의 짧은 파 퍼트를 놓치며 땅을 쳤다.

한편 심슨은 15번 홀에서 팁 인이 가능한 짧은 거리의 파 퍼트를 남긴 상황에서 공을 건드리는 실수로 1벌타를 받으며 생애 첫 우승 기회를 날려버렸다. 위창수(39·테일러메이드)는 공동 16위(8언더파)에 머물렀다.

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