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Bubba ‘passes’ the test at Riviera

Ninth PGA Tour victory for big hitting American

Bubba Watson packed plenty of memories from his week in LA. He has a kidney stone as a keepsake. He had a cameo in “Girl Meets World.” He received a text Sunday morning from Steph Curry offering shooting tips to Watson’s son. And he capped it all with the best memento of all.

“Hold on a second, my trophy is coming,” Watson said, interrupting his press conference as the shiny prize was placed on the table next to him. 

Two shots behind with four holes to play, Watson rallied with flawless golf and a pair of birdies over the last three holes to overtake Jason Kokrak and hold off Adam Scott to win at Riviera for the second time in three years and move back to No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

All week long, Watson spoke of the importance of making putts at Riviera, and he needed all of them - the 10-footer for par on No. 10 to stay in the game, and a pair of birdies to twice tie for the lead, from 30 feet on No. 11 and from 5 feet on the par-3 16th.

And then he took the lead with a birdie that was pure Bubba.

Both feet came off the ground as he hammered a drive 334 yards on the 582-yard 17th hole, and then he hit 2-iron to the back of the green that led to a two-putt birdie. He closed with a 3-under 68 for a one-shot victory over Kokrak and Scott.

“The highlight is definitely winning,” Watson said. “When you come to Hollywood, there’s a lot of things you can do. It’s fun. And winning is the cake.”

Watson won for the ninth time in his PGA Tour, but rarely on a week with so much activity.

He said he passed the kidney stone on Monday, and then took 3-year-old Caleb to hang with Justin Bieber. He taped a “Girl Meets World” show, and even was given one line (that required four takes). And then he rushed out of Riviera with a one-shot lead Saturday night to hang at Staples Center for a Clippers-Warriors game. He said Curry sent a text about 15 minutes before he teed off Sunday offering some shooting tips to Caleb.

And then he wound up a winner at Riviera again, a course he loves because of the history and because it changes so little over the years.

The timing couldn’t have been better.

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