Never mind that Nick Watney was the highest-ranked player at the AT&T National, or that he won a World Golf Championship in March. Stepping to the first tee Sunday in a tie for the lead at the AT&T National in Newton Square, Pa., he had reason to feel overlooked.
After being announced, one fan called out, “Go, Rickie!” Several other fans in the large gallery wore bright orange shirts and flat-brimmed caps to show their support for Rickie Fowler, a 22-year-old who was tied for the lead and going after that first PGA Tour win.
“He’s obviously a very popular player. I think his time is definitely coming,” Watney said.
Playing the weekend at Aronimink in a staggering 12 under, and going the final 27 holes without a bogey, Watney closed with a 4-under 66 for a two-shot victory over K.J. Choi (67) to win for the second time this year and move to No. 10 in the world.
“It’s a very addictive feeling to be out there and under the gun,” said Watney, who had rounds of 62-66 on the weekend.
Watney finished at 13-under 267, tying the tournament record by Tiger Woods in 2009 when it was played at Congressional.
Charles Howell III 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 him eligible for the British Open in two weeks.
Fowler finished with a 74 to tie for 13th.
John Cook won the Montreal Championship for his third Champions Tour title of the year, closing with a 6-under 66 in Blainville, Quebec, for a tournament-record 21-under 195 total.
Cook, the runner-up last year at Fontainebleau Golf Club, beat Taiwan’s Lu Chien-soon (70) by three strokes. Joey Sindelar (68) was third at 17 under, and Bill Glasson (64), Corey Pavin (67) and Dan Forsman (68) were another stroke back. Canadian Rod Spittle broke the course record with a 62 to finish at 15 under.
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