Genesis Open: Bubba Watson considered retiring last year

Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson won the 2012 and 2014 Masters
Genesis Open final leaderboard
-12 B Watson (US); -10 K Na (US), T Finau (US); -9 S Stallings (US), P Cantlay (US); -8 A Hadwin (Can), P Mickelson (US), C Smith (Aus)
Selected others: -7 J Spieth (US), M Laird (Sco); -4 D Johnson (US); -3 R McIlroy (NI), -2 G McDowell (NI), -1 T Fleetwood (Eng), L Donald (Eng); +1 P Casey (Eng); +2 A Scott (Aus); +5 P Harrington (Ire)
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Two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson said he was "close to retiring" last year as he claimed his 10th PGA tour title at the Genesis Open.

Watson shot a two-under 69 in the final round to win by two strokes from fellow Americans Kevin Na and Tony Finau.

The 39-year-old was not selected for the winning United States team at the 2016 Ryder Cup and is ranked 117th.

"The last year and a half, almost two years, has been a struggle, because I want to be at the top," he said.

"I was top 10 in the world for a few years, so not being there you feel like: 'Is this it? Is this my old man moment where I can't play golf again?'"

Watson made five birdies and three bogeys in Los Angeles on Sunday to finish on 12 under par and said afterwards he "never thought" he would reach 10 PGA tour wins.

He added he had lost weight through illness last year and had to be convinced by his wife, Angie, not to retire.

"I was close to retiring - my wife was not close," he said.

"My wife basically told me to quit whining and play golf. She's much tougher than I am. I was focusing on the wrong things - pitiful me and not how beautiful my life was.

"Nobody thought Bubba Watson from Bagdad, Florida would ever get to 10 wins - without lessons, head case, hooking the ball, slicing the ball, can't putt."

Watson is now aiming to become the ninth man to win three or more Masters titles at Augusta in April.

"The trend is going in the right direction," he said. "I'm not saying I'm going to have a chance of winning it - but I'm in the field, so I've got a chance."

Scot Martin Laird was the highest-placed British player in California, finishing five shots off the pace in a tie for ninth.

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, two shots off the lead going into Sunday, finished with a six-over-par 77. He had six bogeys in seven holes around the turn as his hopes evaporated.

Compatriot Rory McIlroy finished with a 68 to finish on three under par in a tie for 20th place.

The world number 10 had an eagle and three birdies to repair some of the damage caused by a third-round 73.

American world number one Dustin Johnson carded a 73 on Sunday to finish in joint 16th.

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