Watney moving in the right direction
Most of the pressure Watney felt Sunday at Aronimink came on the greens.
Despite seizing control early with his birdie on No. 2, he had to hole a 20-foot putt to save par from the bunker on No. 4, then made a 12-foot putt for par after being in the bunker on No. 7.
About that time, Choi was starting to hit his stride and Jeff Overton was making a move three groups ahead of them. Watney hit a solid shot on the par-3 eighth _ a hole that yielded only two birdies in the final round _ only to see it go over the green. He putted weakly up the slope, 18 feet away, then holed yet another big par putt.
“That was big not to drop a shot after hitting a good shot, and keep momentum heading to the back nine,” Choi said.
Choi birdied three of the first five holes on the back nine to catch Watney, but the South Korean found trouble in a bunker on the 15th and made double bogey. Watney was short of the green on the 503-yard hole, but lagged his putt from 75 feet and got away with par.
When he blasted a drive down the fairway on the par-5 16th, leaving him a 7-iron to the green and a simple two-putt birdie, the tournament was effectively over.
“I’m overjoyed,” Watney said. “K.J. played great golf, and he kept coming and coming, and that makes it even more rewarding.”
Fowler, tied for the lead with Watney, couldn’t get anything to fall and shot 74 to tie for 13th. Of the three players who tied for third _ Charles Howell III, Overton and Adam Scott _ the consolation prize when to Howell. He was the only one among the top five not already in the British Open, giving him a spot in the field at Royal St. George’s.
That’s the next step for Watney. The majors are about the only place where he has struggled this year. He never broke par at the Masters and was 18 shots behind, and missed the cut at the U.S. Open.
Time to call Harmon? Not really.
“The best thing was he was really down on himself after the U.S. Open,” Harmon said. “I kind of gave him a kick in the butt. I told him, ‘You can’t go play it over again. It’s done with. Go forward. You know you’re playing as well as you have in your life, get moving.’ And he did.”