Watney fires 61 to win CIMB Classic
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Nick Watney fired a 10-under 61 on Sunday to rally and win the CIMB Classic.
Watney, who won The Barclays in August, finished at 22-under-par 262. The victory was unofficial, but was his sixth on the PGA Tour.
"I got off to a pretty good start, but if you made pars, you were losing ground. I saw Tiger (Woods) was playing well and I know Bo (Van Pelt) is in good form. Robert (Garrigus) obviously was playing well all week," Watney said in a televised interview.
"I didn't really look up until 13 and I saw I was in pretty good shape, then I played well down the stretch. Hate to bogey the last, but it worked out."
Van Pelt, last year's winner, and Garrigus both closed with 66s to tie at minus-21. The duo shared the third-round lead, but needed late rallies to share second place.
Woods fired an 8-under 63 on Sunday at The Mines Resort and Golf Club. He was joined in fourth place at 19-under-par 265 by Chris Kirk (67) and Brendon de Jonge (66).
Woods birdied five of the first seven holes to get within two of the lead at 16-under. He had seven pars and a birdie from the eighth to the 15th. Woods birdied 16 and 17 from a similar length, but it was only good enough to give him a share of fourth.
"The course was soft, we had ball in hand again, and I needed to get to 20- plus (under par) and that was the goal starting out the day," Woods said on TV. "It looks like Nick went ahead and put it to us. But, yesterday's back nine is what cost me an opportunity to win the tournament."
Early on, it looked like a 4-man race between Van Pelt, Garrigus, Kirk and Jbe' Kruger.
Watney was on fire from the start, but it took him a while to grab the lead. He rolled in a birdie effort from off the green at the first and followed with a 4-foot birdie putt on No. 2.
After a trio of pars, Watney ran off three birdies in a 4-hole span from the sixth. All three birdies were from inside seven feet.
Watney, 31, birdied the par-5 11th from just over 10 feet. His approach at the 12th stopped within four feet and when he drained that birdie effort, Watney joined Van Pelt atop the leaderboard.
That tie was short lived as Watney birdied the 13th from inside five feet to grab the lead at 20-under par.
Watney wasn't finished either. He ran home his longest birdie putt of the day at 16, where his 20-footer found the bottom of the cup. Watney 2-putted for birdie at 17 to reach 11-under for the day.
For the second time in two days, a player had to birdie the last to shot 59. Van Pelt faltered to a double-bogey on Saturday. Watney's drive found the rough, before he came up short with his second.
Watney's birdie chip also stopped just shy of the green. He 2-putted for bogey and it was off the clubhouse to watch the final three groups to finish.
Kruger played the first three holes in 3-under par, but played the last 15 in even-par to end five back. Kirk eagled the third and followed with a birdie on the fourth. He had three birdies and two bogeys the rest of the way.
It was all up to the final group. Garrigus birdied the first and fourth to keep a piece of the lead, but he carded six pars and a bogey from the fifth to 11th.
Van Pelt had a bogey and four birdies in the first six holes to take a 1-shot lead at minus-19. He stayed right there with eight consecutive pars from the seventh.
Garrigus dropped a shot at No. 9, but erased that mistake with a birdie at the 12th. At that point, he was two behind Watney.
Both Garrigus and Van Pelt birdied the 15th and 17th. Van Pelt needed a birdie at the last to force a playoff, but he failed to do so. Garrigus did birdie the last to join Van Pelt in second place.
NOTES: Watney earned $1.3 million for the win...He missed Van Pelt's tournament scoring record by one stroke...The tour is in China next week for the final WGC of the season, the WGC - HSBC Champions, where Martin Kaymer beat Fredrik Jacobson by three strokes last year.