Just when it looked like Nick Watney might finally have run out of gas, he goes on another birdie tear, making seven birdies and one bogey to shoot 65 and surge back into contention at the Transitions Championship, with a 54-hole total of 10-under, three shots behind leader Justin Rose. Coming off the biggest victory of his career last week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Watney hit a wall on Thursday after rolling in seven birdies through 12 holes, which carried over to Friday.
“I just feel much more fresh today,” said Watney. “Yesterday, it was just very flat. I don’t know if it was kind of a letdown or I’m tired, but just very flat and very sloppy all day. So today, it was just completely different as far as energy level.”
He credited staying in to rest last night and the stuffed peppers his wife Amber cooked.
Amber said the adrenaline from Doral got to him on Thursday afternoon. They’re skipping Bay Hill and returning to Vegas tomorrow for two weeks before The Masters.
Nick rolled in an impressive 15-footer for birdie on No. 17. Putting from the top-left ridge on No. 18, he blew his birdie try about eight feet past the hole — which was really the best he could do — but drained the comeback for par. He’s shown the past few weeks that he’s made great strides with his short game.
Nick finished his round early, so he’ll have plenty of time to rest before teeing it up in the final round.
“I’m definitely riding some momentum,” said Watney. “I just feel good with my game and I’m feeling more and more comfortable. I’m kind of in the heat of it and just having a good time.”
In five starts this year, Watney has yet to finish out of the top-ten. Starting at the Farmers Insurance Open, his first event of the year, he and his caddie, Chad Reynolds, pledged they wouldn’t cut their hair until he failed to top ten. Two months later, their hair is beginning to look a little straggly.
If fatigue doesn’t get the best of Watney on Sunday, there’s a good chance his caddie could be sporting a braid by The Masters.
(AP Photo/Mike Carlson)