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June 28-July 1 AT&T National


Congressional Country Club (Par 71/7,484 yards) Bethesda, Maryland


Nick Watney is one of the PGA TOUR’s most accomplished young players.


IT IS HARD TO MAKE THE CASE that Nick Watney is sneaky good after his victory at last year’s AT&T National at historic Aronimink Golf Club outside Philadelphia. The victory continued his rise as one of the PGA TOUR’s most accomplished young players. Watney came to the tournament


8/27


Nick Watney set a course-record


as the highest-ranked player in the field, in part by virtue of his victory at the World Golf Championships- Cadillac Championship in March, his third career PGA TOUR win. But it was his play over the Donald Ross design that really captured the golf world’s attention. He played the final 36 holes at Aronimink in a staggering 12-under par, navigated the final 27 holes without a bogey, and closed with a 4-under 66 for a two-stroke victory over K.J. Choi (67) to climb to the top of the FedExCup standings.


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8-under 62 during the third round en route to victory, including an


8-under 27 on the Aronimink Golf


Club’s back nine (just one shy of


Corey Pavin’s all- time PGA TOUR record).


“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. “To be able to hit good shots and putts is why I play, really.”


With just 27 holes left in the


tournament, Watney was trying to stay in the race. Ten birdies and an eagle were more than enough to get the job done. It didn’t hurt that he didn’t make a bogey in that run. He finished with a 13-under 267, tying the tournament record by Tiger Woods in 2009 when it was played at Congressional Country Club, where the tournament will be played in 2012. There was also good news for Charles


Howell III, whose tie for third with Adam Scott earned him a pass into the British Open, as the top finisher in the field who hadn’t qualified for an exemption.


RICKIE FOWLER HAD A PAINFUL LEARNING EXPERIENCE Rickie Fowler fell out of contention with a double bogey on the second hole. From a difficult position in a bunker, he left himself short of the green, just managed to get his putt up the slope, and then ran his bogey attempt three feet beyond the hole. That translated into a three-stroke swing when Watney made a birdie. Fowler never recovered and closed with a 74 to tie for 13th. “I just couldn’t get anything going today,” a disappointed Fowler said.


RANK 1 2 3 4 5


FEDEXCUP STANDINGS PLAYER


Nick Watney K.J. Choi


Luke Donald Bubba Watson Mark Wilson


POINTS 1,798 1,536 1,455 1,448 1,321


PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE 2012 135


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