Watney holds off Choi to win AT&T

Posted July 03, 2011, at 7:49 p.m.

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. — Nick Watney capped off an amazing weekend at Aronimink to win the AT&T National on Sunday, moving him to No. 10 in the world and atop the PGA Tour money list for the first time in his career.

Watney followed his 8-under 62 on Saturday with a 66 on a steamy afternoon in the Philadelphia suburbs, making three big par saves and three birdies on the front nine to seize control, then holding off a late charge by K.J. Choi (67) for a two-shot victory.

And to think that with only 27 holes left in the tournament, Watney was trying to keep from getting left behind. Ten birdies, an eagle and no bogeys later, he was posing with the silver trophy of a Liberty Bell and wondering how much better he could get.

Watney finished on 13-under 267, tying the tournament record by Tiger Woods in 2009 when it was played at Congressional. The tournament is scheduled to return to Congressional next year.

Charles Howell III earned quite a consolation prize. He played bogey-free in the final round for a 6-under 66 to tie for third with Adam Scott (68) and Jeff Overton (67). That made Scott eligible for the British Open in two weeks as the top finisher from the top five who wasn’t already exempt.

Rickie Fowler, who shared the lead with Watney going into the final round, had another learning experience. He fell out of the hunt early with a double bogey on the second hole and closed with a 74 to tie for 13th.

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