Bubba Watson struggles to keep his emotions in check as he reflects on his Genesis Open win with Wayne Riley. Will he retire now he's got to 10 PGA Tour wins?
Bubba Watson admitted he had considered retiring from golf before he returned to the winner’s circle with a battling victory at the Genesis Open.
Watson lifted the trophy at Riviera in 2014 and 2016, but he had not won since as illness and a loss of form saw him tumble out the top 100 in the world rankings, prompting him to discuss retirement with his family.
But he opted to continue his quest to reach his career goal of 10 PGA Tour titles, and the 39-year-old was the most composed of the many contenders over the closing stages of the final round, making three birdies over the last eight holes to seal a two-stroke win.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Watson, who lost his overnight lead after an erratic outward 36 before keeping further bogeys off his card down the stretch, while making a pivotal birdie at the short 14th when he holed out from a greenside bunker.
Highlights of Bubba Watson's final-round 69 as he clinched his first victory for two years at the Genesis Open.
“To do it twice was amazing, and then have a chance on the back nine on Sunday to do it again, and then to pull it off, that’s very special.
“My goal has always been to get 10 wins, and there are so many emotions going through my head right now,” added the left-hander, who was in tears after holing the winning putt in scenes reminiscent of his memorable first Masters victory in 2012.
“You never know if you’re going to play good again, and you never know if you’re going to lift the trophy. I thought about retirement, and I mentioned it about 10 to 12 times to my wife. We sat down and had many talks about it because physically I wasn’t ready to play.”
Watson has enjoyed an entertaining week in Los Angeles which included recording shows with chat-show legends Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres, while he also took part in the NBA All-Star Celebrity game at the Staples Center after his second round on Friday evening.
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But he insisted the distractions had helped him focus on the course, adding: “It loosened me up. I was so focused on other things I didn’t have time to focus on where I stood going into this week.”