Nick Watney claimed his second PGA Tour title of the season with a gritty win at the AT&T National, Aronimik Golf Club, Philadelphia. After starting the day as joint-leader with Rickie Fowler, Watney was forced to fight all the way for his success and it was a red-hot putter that ultimately made the difference.
Time and again Watney holed out for par after some lacklustre approaches left him struggling, but the flat-stick baled him out. Still, he had to keep watching over his shoulder as Players Championship winner K.J Choi and Jeff Overton fought to close the gap.
On more than one occasion, Overton got to within one shot of Watney, only to see the latter pull ahead again and it was on the 14th hole where Overton’s resistance was broken when he bogeyed the hole. That was followed by another at the next hole to drop him back to 9-under par and 3 off Watney.
Overton fought on and birdied the 16th to cut the gap to two but after a par on the 17th he dropped another stroke on the last to drop into a tie for third with Adam Scott and Charles Howell III.
That left Watney to slug it out with Choi, and after the Korean tied Watney at the 14th hole – Choi had been four back at one point – the stage was set was a real battle. It turned out not to be, however, as Choi handed the initiative back to Watney on the next hole with a double-bogey.
With both players birdying the 16th, Choi needed to gain a stroke on each of the closing two holes, but both he and Watney parred in and it was Watney’s win in the end.
Watney earned $1.116 million and became the first player this year to top $4 million on the PGA Tour. He also overtook Luke Donald at the top of the FedEx Cup standings.
Australian Robert Allenby carded a final round 65 to take a share of 6th place alongside Chris Stroud, while American duo Bryce Molder, Chris Kirk and Webb Simpson shared eighth.
Joint-overnight leader Rickie Fowler never got going in his final round, limping to a closing 74 to drop into a share of 13th, while defending champion Justin Rose shot a closing 69 to tie for 15th spot.