DORAL, Fla. — Nick Watney wound up in another duel at Doral, this one with a much sweeter ending.
Watney poured in two key putts for par along the back nine of the Blue Monster on Sunday, then hit two fearless shots on the 18th and finished with a birdie for and a 5-under 67 to win the Cadillac Championship by two shots over Dustin Johnson.
It was the third victory of Watney’s career, and by far the biggest.
The 29-year-old American captured a World Golf Championship, and earned a measure of redemption on the Blue Monster. It was two years ago when Watney battled Phil Mickelson shot-for-shot on the weekend, only for his 30-foot birdie putt on the last hole to stop one turn short of a chance at a playoff.
This time, Watney left nothing to chance.
With a one-shot lead playing the 18th — where he had put his tee shot into the water on Saturday for a double bogey — Watney drilled his drive over 300 yards down the middle of the fairway, and hit his approach to 12 feet above the hole. He pumped his fist when it fell for birdie, knowing that Johnson would have to hole out from the fairway to tie him.
“I’m not sure it owed me one,” Watney said at the trophy presentation. “I think I settled the score. If you keep working hard, you get back in that situation. And luckily today, I was able to do a little better.”
Johnson had to settle for a shot into 8 feet, and typical of his final round, he missed the putt for a 71.
“Nothing went in the hole all day,” he said. “The 18th hole kind of sums it up.”
Watney finished at 16-under 272 and earned $1.4 million.
Francesco Molinari, who won the last World Golf Championship in stroke play last November in Shanghai, closed with a 69 and tied for third with Anders Hansen (67), who will move into the top 50 and now has to stay there the next two weeks to get into the Masters.
Tiger Woods matched his best score of the year with a 6-under 66, and when Rory McIlroy dunked his tee shot into the water on the 18th hole and made bogey, that enabled Woods to tie for 10th. It was his first top 10 in an official PGA Tour event in nine months, dating to the U.S. Open.
“I want to win golf tournaments … and I didn’t do that this week,” Woods said. “But I showed positive signs for the next time I play, which is a good thing.”
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico — Michael Bradley took advantage of Troy Matteson’s short par miss on the first extra hole to win the Puerto Rico Open for the second time in three years.
The 44-year-old Bradley closed with his fourth straight 4-under 68 to match Matteson (72) at 16-under 272 at Trump International Golf Club, then parred the par-5 18th in the playoff for his fourth PGA Tour victory.
Matteson three-putted in the playoff, missing a 3-footer.
Bradley ended up in the playoff after missing a 3-footer of his own on 18 in regulation.
Stephen Ames (66) and Hunter Haas (71) tied for third at 14 under, George McNeill (69) followed at 13 under, and Bobby Gates (69) was another stroke back. Angel Cabrera (71) topped a group at 11 under.
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Nick Price won the Toshiba Classic for his fourth career Champions Tour title, holding off Mark Wiebe by a stroke at Newport Beach Country Club.
The 54-year-old Price matched the Champions Tour record with a career-best 11-under 60 in the first round, then closed with consecutive 68s to finish at 17-under 196. He earned $255,000.
Wiebe shot a 67. Japan’s Joe Ozaki (67) and Michael Allen (66) tied for third at 14 under, and 2010 winner Fred Couples (67) was another stroke back along with Brad Bryant (65) and Robert Thompson (66).