PHILADELPHIA, July 3, 2011 (AFP) - American Nick Watney captured his second title this year making some key birdies and par saves early, then holding on to post a two-shot win at the AT&T National on Sunday.
Watney fired a final round four-under 66 to beat South Korea's KJ Choi who mounted a late charge on the back nine Sunday at the par-70 Aronimink Golf Club course. Watney's only other PGA Tour win this year was at the World Golf Championship at Doral four months ago.
He now leads the PGA Tour money list and the Fed Ex Cup standings. Watney also moves to 10th in the world rankings.
"It's a very addictive feeling to be out there and under the gun," said Watney. "To be able to hit good shots and putts is why I play, really."
Choi started to catch fire on the back nine rolling in a 35 foot birdie on No. 14 to pull into a tie with Watney. His co-lead was short lived as Choi stumbled to a double bogey on the next hole.
"When I tied him on the 14th hole, I knew that there was still a lot of holes to go, and I knew the remaining holes were more favourable to Nick Watney.
"I knew the 15th hole would be a turning point. That was a key hole, and I missed it. So I think that was the turning point of the match."
American Rickie Fowler shot 74 and finished nine shots behind. Fowler shared the lead with Watney heading into the final round.
Watney took sole possession of the lead with a birdie on the second hole and then drained a 20-foot birdie on the par-five fifth. He posted another birdie on the par-five ninth by blasting out of a bunker to two feet of the pin.
He had a number of key par saves on the front nine as well, saving par from the bunkers on No. 4 and No. 7.
American Charles Howell earned a trip to the British Open in two weeks by shooting a bogey free six-under 66 to finish in a tie for third with Aussie Adam Scott (68) and Jeff Overton (67).
Fowler dropped out of contention with a double bogey on the second hole.
"I just couldn't get anything going today," Fowler said.
Scores on Sunday after the final round of the $6.2 million PGA Tour ATT National (USA unless noted, par 70):
267 - Nick Watney 70-69-62-66
269 - K.J. Choi (KOR) 69-64-69-67
271 - Charles Howell 68-68-69-66, Jeff Overton 71-65-68-67, Adam Scott (AUS) 66-71-66-68
272 - Robert Allenby (AUS) 71-68-68-65, Chris Stroud 70-68-66-68
273 - Chris Kirk 70-71-63-69, Bryce Molder 69-67-68-69, Webb Simpson 69-70-64-70
274 - Kevin Stadler 73-69-64-68, Bo Van Pelt 69-66-71-68
275 - Chris DiMarco 71-70-70-64, Rickie Fowler 68-69-64-74
276 - Spencer Levin 70-68-68-70, John Merrick 68-70-68-70, Joe Ogilvie 67-70-70-69, Justin Rose (GBR) 70-72-65-69, Kevin Streelman 71-69-68-68
279 - Andres Romero (ARG) 71-70-67-71
280 - Ryuji Imada (JPN) 72-70-69-69, Carl Pettersson (SWE) 73-70-70-67
281 - Trevor Immelman (AUS) 69-70-70-72, Rod Pampling (AUS) 64-69-72-66
283 - Stephen Ames (CAN) 72-71-68-72, Brian Davis (GBR) 71-72-68-72, Charlie Wi (KOR) 69-66-69-79
284 - David Hearn (CAN) 69-70-73-72, Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 71-71-69-73
285 - Jhonattan Vegas (VEN) 67-71-69-78
286 - Brendon de Jonge (ZIM) 70-71-72-73
288 - Mike Weir (CAN) 71-70-73-74