Bubba Watson has forever been charmed with the history of Riviera Country Club, where Ben Hogan won a U.S. Open, celebrities from Humphrey Bogart to Dean Martin were members and Howard Hughes once took lessons.
It is a contest once known as the Los Angeles Open that began in 1937 and through the years had a number of legendary winners such as Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Charlie Sifford and Tom Watson.
Now, after successive bogey-free rounds of 7-under-par 64 to complete the Northern Trust Open, Watson, with his first win since the 2012 Masters, is part of that history.
Watson, an Oakely golf clothing ambassador, began Sunday's final round tied for sixth, four behind the 54-hole leader William McGirt. Watson finished at 15-under 269, two shots ahead of Adidas staff player Dustin Johnson (66), who also finished second at the AT & T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Jason Allred and Brian Harman carded 68 shots and tied for third at 12 under. Nikes Charl Schwartzel (68), the South African who won the 2011 Masters, was at 11 under. McGirt (73) tied for sixth at 274.
Two weeks ago, Watson bogeyed the final hole to lose the Phoenix Open by a shot to Kevin Stadler. After that devastating defeat, he began this tournament, located a mile from the Pacific in a costal canyon, at the 10th hole on Thursday. Watson's first three holes were double-bogey, birdie, double-bogey.
He made the cut of 1-over 143 by just two shots but played the final 39 holes in 14 under, without a bogey since the 15th hole Friday.
"What an honor," said Watson, 35, after his fifth PGA Tour victory. "What a privilege, what a blessing; the history behind this golf tournament, the history behind some of the great names as champions here.
"This golf course, they haven't changed it much over the years. They don't trick it up. It just is what it is, and it's tough."