Watney’s Wait for PGA Glory Ends in New Orleans

Nick Watney’s two-year wait for his first PGA Tour title ended when he triumphed at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at Avondale.

Watney snared an eagle two on the 428-yard par-four fifth hole that not only steadied his nerves but also laid the foundations for a three-stroke victory and a first prize of $1,098,000, just three days short of his 26th birthday.

His score of 15-under-par 273 was three strokes better than second-placed Ken Duke, who closed with 70 for his 276 while Anthony Kim and John Mallinger were tied for third on 277. Bubba Watson scored a final-round 72 for 278 and fifth.

Soon after his victory, a jazz band struck up a tune as Watney was draped with beads in Mardi Gras style.

Basking in the glory, Watney could feel the weight of his prize money as he looked back at some difficult early years on the Nationawide Tour.

After failing to qualify for the PGA Tour through sponsor exemptions, Watney went back to basics at the Nationwide Tour, where he missed five of his first seven cuts.

He refused to give up, and after fine-tuning his game with more practice and learning to control his emotions, he made 17 of the last 18 cuts and scored a victory on the Nationwide Tour Championship.

He then finished 127th on the main tour’s money list in his rookie season, as he recalled on the PGA Tour website:

“I did okay but it also was a struggle. I didn’t press too much. I’m still figuring things out but I also haven’t lost any patience with my game or myself. I knew it takes time to get used to everything so I wasn’t worried. My aim was to be out here on the Tour for a long time.”

One Response to “Watney’s Wait for PGA Glory Ends in New Orleans”

  1. Ted Exley says:

    So….another first timer….What’s going on, are all the experienced men suffering from ‘Burnout’ due to chasing the Tiger. The first 4 all really unknown in international golf. There is definitely something in the water in the USA..Come on, Justin:lol:

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