Bubba Watson, Alex Prugh and Joe Ogilvie all had late chances to create a little separation atop the Bob Hope Classic field Sunday. All three made mistakes better suited to their amateur playing partners.
And that left a leaderboard crowded with low-profile pros seeking their first career victories in today’s finale at La Quinta, Calif.
Watson double-bogeyed the final hole in the fourth round, dropping him back into a tie with PGA Tour rookie Prugh at 23-under 265. Prugh missed a 3-foot putt to bogey his own final hole, while Ogilvie sat two strokes back after a double bogey on his 17th.
The famed tournament features none of the PGA Tour’s top 35 players, creating golden opportunities for the top four players heading into the final round at the Arnold Palmer Private course at PGA West.
After knocking his second shot into the water and then missing a 6-foot putt on the par-4 18th, Watson finished with 3-under 69 to match Prugh (70) at 23-under 265.
Prugh, the 25-year-old former Ferris High and University of Washington star making his third PGA Tour start, missed an easy putt to bogey his final hole on the SilverRock course, finishing another self-described unremarkable round. He still claims the Hope Classic doesn’t feel much more stressful than events on the Nationwide Tour, where he won the New Zealand Open last year.
“The way things were going the first three days, where the scores were going, I definitely didn’t think 2 under would keep me in it,” said Prugh, who opened the Hope Classic with a 64-66-65 start. “It’s definitely what I expected to feel. I feel like I’ve been in this situation before.”
Tom Watson became the 13th oldest player to win on the Champions Tour, birdieing the final two holes for a one-stroke victory over senior newcomer Fred Couples in the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii.
Watson, 60, closed with a 7-under 65 to finish at 22-under 194 for his 13th Champions Tour title and his first victory in 34 career starts in Hawaii on the two tours.