Watson Edges Mickelson at Torrey Pines

Mickelson nearly eagled the 18th hole to force tie

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    Bubba Watson warded off Phil Mickelson at the the 2011 Farmers insurance Open at Torrey Pines, sinking a birdie on the 18th to win the tournament.

    The best lefty at Torrey Pines turned out to be Bubba Watson.

    Watson made clutch putts on the last two holes Sunday, including a 12-foot birdie on the par-5 18th for a five-under-par 67 to win the Farmers Insurance Open in a finish that was dramatic for peculiar reasons.

    Phil Mickelson -- that other lefty and the San Diego favorite -- was one shot behind when he chose to lay up from the rough on the 18th before Watson attempted his birdie putt. Watson made the putt, and Mickelson's only hope was to hole out from 72 yards for eagle.

    Mickelson had his caddie, Jim Mackay, tend the flag. His shot landed about 4 feet behind the hole, but stopped well short of going in. Mickelson closed with a 69.

    The 14th Hole at Torrey Pines

    [DGO] The 14th Hole at Torrey Pines
    Why the 14th hole at Torrey Pines is the only hole in the PGA where the flag isn't removed and flipped upside down during tournament play. (Published Monday, Jan 31, 2011)

    The victory was particularly meaningful for Watson. His father Gerry died late last year following a long battle with lung cancer.

    "It means a lot," a tearful Watson said greenside. "My dad is not here. Mom, I love you."