Bubba Watson puts Riviera victory down to improved mental strength
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 22/02/16 9:34am
Bubba Watson believes improved patience and mental strength helped him claim a second Northern Trust Open title.
The two-time Augusta champion birdied two of his final three holes to snatch a one-shot victory at Riviera, lifting him back to world No 4 and making him the first multiple winner on the PGA Tour this season.
Watson mixed five gains with two bogeys during his final round 68 to finish ahead of Adam Scott and Jason Kokrak and had to dig deep to win the title he previously claimed in 2014.
"I made some mistakes, but I stayed patient, stayed committed and that's what we've been working on," Watson told Sky Sports. "It feels nice any time you win.
"You never know when your last win is going to be, so for me to come back and pull one out and win in a tough way means a lot and is very special to me and my family.
"The last five years we've been working on the head game. The physical game is there, it's just about staying patient and focusing on one shot at a time."
Watson was criticised earlier this month for comments made about the Phoenix Open and TPC Scottsdale, leading to the American being booed and heckled by spectators during that week.
The experience was still affecting Watson a fortnight on, with the 37-year-old keen to improve how he deals with negativity around his game.
"It was a bad headline that said I didn't like the community and didn't like the golf tournament, which was a lie," Watson added in the post-tournament media conference.
"On the Saturday I got booed on every shot - even though I've lived there for the last eight winters. I love Scottsdale, I love Phoenix.
"I have to just bite my tongue sometimes when things are written or things are said, and there was a lot of things said in between those ropes."
The PGA Tour heads to Florida next for the Honda Classic. Watch the tournament throughout the week live on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf