Northern Trust Open 2014 results: Bubba Watson wins it with incredible weekend run

Jeff Gross

The 2012 Masters champ ends a frustrating drought with some of the best golf you'll ever see at historic Riviera.

Bubba Watson is back in the winner's circle, ending almost a two-year drought by catching fire on the weekend at Riviera to take the Northern Trust Open. Watson has meandered from contention to disinterest since that breakthrough major championship victory at Augusta National in 2012, and this weekend was a nice rebound from his bogey on the last hole two weeks ago that gave it away in Phoenix.

At the 36-hole midpoint, Watson was nine shots back and in a tie for 40th, not even playing in the top half of the tee times going off the 1st hole on Saturday. But he lit it up Riviera for a 3rd round 64 to get back in it, and promptly carried that over to the front nine on Sunday. He went out in 30, mixing in the usual bombs off the tee, ridiculous shot shapes on approach, a hole-out from the bunker, and steady putting from moderate distances on Riviera's unpredictable greens (details and video of his hot start here)

Bubba's charge was already in full effect after a birdie on the extremely difficult par-3 fourth, but this bunker shot, which Jim Nantz called the best of his career, put the group of relatively untested and inexperienced 54-hole leaders behind him on notice.

It was just the sixth hole, but after his play on Saturday and the four birdies in his first six, Sunday's final round suddenly made it Bubba's to lose. A steady birdie putt from 15 feet at the eighth would put him in sole possession of the lead, and he would never relinquish it.

Watson has struggled down the stretch in the series of events where he's contended since the 2012 Masters, most recently at TPC Scottsdale. But he added to his lead with a birdie at the par-5 11th, and held off fellow bomber Dustin Johnson by making six straight pars. A birdie with his final stroke of the weekend at the amphitheater on the 18th only added to the margin, but the result was already determined. Bubba's son, Caleb, stole the show in the final moments after an approach shot that removed all doubt (via Kyle Porter of CBS):

Johnson, who already has a win this season during the inaugural wraparound schedule, was the biggest challenger but he squandered his chances for birdie to match Bubba. Johnson is probably the most talented American golfer not named Tiger or Phil, but he can be frustrating to watch on some Sundays. With the way he was crushing the ball, Johnson should have made birdie at the easier par-5 17th to pull even, but he scrambled to just get a par and that was pretty much it for his shot.

Bubba's back-to-back rounds of 64 and a 14-under weekend is as good as it gets at a historic tournament like Riviera, and Watson clearly had something working here on the west coast swing. He will tee it up in the WGC-Match Play this week, but after a couple years away, he will be a contender again at Augusta if he continues his early-season form.

Here are the final results from the field that made the weekend at Riviera:

Place Player Score Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
1 Bubba Watson -15 70 71 64 64
2 Dustin Johnson -13 66 70 69 66
T3 Jason Allred -12 73 64 67 68
T3 Brian Harman -12 67 69 68 68
5 Charl Schwartzel -11 69 68 68 68
T6 Bryce Molder -10 69 69 69 67
T6 Matt Every -10 69 69 69 67
T6 William McGirt -10 69 67 65 73
T6 George McNeill -10 69 68 66 71
T10 Harris English -9 70 69 69 67
T10 Brendan Steele -9 68 71 67 69
T12 K.J. Choi -8 69 72 67 68
T12 Charley Hoffman -8 67 71 68 70
T12 Sang-Moon Bae -8 67 66 72 71
T12 Cameron Tringale -8 68 70 67 71
T12 Jordan Spieth -8 72 66 67 71
T12 Charlie Beljan -8 67 68 68 73
T18 Aaron Baddeley -7 69 65 72 71
T18 John Senden -7 71 70 66 70
T20 Keegan Bradley -6 68 70 72 68
T20 Lee Westwood -6 69 70 68 71
T20 Jimmy Walker -6 67 71 67 73
T23 Kevin Chappell -5 71 70 69 69
T23 Kevin Stadler -5 69 69 74 67
T23 Jim Furyk -5 68 68 71 72
T23 Robert Garrigus -5 67 67 73 72
T23 Hideki Matsuyama -5 70 69 69 71
T23 Bill Haas -5 72 67 67 73
T29 Robert Allenby -4 71 69 71 69
T29 Daniel Summerhays -4 71 72 66 71
T29 Geoff Ogilvy -4 74 68 69 69
T29 Blake Adams -4 67 70 71 72
T29 David Lingmerth -4 70 69 70 71
T29 James Hahn -4 71 72 65 72
T35 Brendon Todd -3 71 70 69 71
T35 Ernie Els -3 71 70 68 72
T35 Gonzalo Fdez-Castano -3 71 70 71 69
T35 Kevin Streelman -3 72 69 73 67
T35 John Huh -3 71 71 72 67
T40 J.J. Henry -2 70 69 71 72
T40 Victor Dubuisson -2 70 72 68 72
T40 Jhonattan Vegas -2 70 69 71 72
T40 Francesco Molinari -2 67 73 71 71
T40 Luke Guthrie -2 71 69 67 75
T45 Justin Rose -1 70 72 68 73
T45 Stuart Appleby -1 72 71 67 73
T45 Scott Stallings -1 67 72 72 72
T45 Scott Brown -1 70 67 74 72
T45 Vijay Singh -1 75 67 70 71
T45 Richard H. Lee -1 69 72 73 69
T45 Davis Love III -1 71 71 73 68
T52 Angel Cabrera E 69 71 71 73
T52 Ken Duke E 71 69 69 75
T52 Justin Leonard E 70 72 70 72
T52 J.B. Holmes E 67 71 75 71
T52 Will MacKenzie E 73 69 72 70
T52 Hunter Mahan E 70 73 71 70
T52 Billy Hurley III E 70 71 74 69
T59 David Lynn 1 70 71 70 74
T59 Matt Jones 1 67 73 70 75
T59 Erik Compton 1 74 67 71 73
T59 Ian Poulter 1 72 70 71 72
T59 Jason Gore 1 71 69 74 71
T59 Marc Leishman 1 69 74 71 71
T65 Martin Laird 2 70 73 70 73
T65 Retief Goosen 2 73 69 73 71
T65 Tim Wilkinson 2 71 72 73 70
T65 Jason Dufner 2 70 72 76 68
69 Ben Crane 3 72 70 69 76
T70 Harold Varner III 4 69 72 72 75
T70 Martin Flores 4 72 69 73 74
T70 Webb Simpson 4 70 72 72 74
T70 Graham DeLaet 4 70 73 72 73
74 Michael Putnam 6 71 72 75 72
75 Pat Perez 8 69 72 73 78
76 Ben Curtis 11 70 73 74 78
77 Scott Piercy 15 71 69 76 83

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