Watney, who is on the cusp of qualifying for the PGA Tour's
lucrative season finale, piled up nine birdies to total 18 points at
Montreux Golf & Country Club in the only event on the U.S. circuit
which uses the Modified Stableford scoring system.
"I do like the course," California native Watney, who totalled only
23 putts, told Golf Channel after carding a flawless nine-under-par
"I love this part of the country. And 23 putts, that's probably my
best by five for the season. I'll take it."
Australian Geoff Ogilvy and New Zealand's Tim Wilkinson were joint
second on 16 points with Scotland's Martin Laird and American Chad
Campbell next best, on 13.
Under the scoring system, points are awarded on each hole for being
under par, with birdies earning a player two points and eagles five.
A bogey costs a player one point, double bogeys and worse three
points. No points are won or lost with par.
Watney is 124th in the FedExCup points standings and needs to remain
in the top 125 after the final three weeks of the PGA Tour's regular
season to book his place in the playoffs opener, the Aug. 21-24
Normally he would be competing this week in the elite
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio but, with his world
ranking having slipped to 80th, he failed to qualify for that 76-man
event for the first time since 2008.
[to top of second column]
"I hate to miss a World Golf Championships (WGC) event but I'm
here now," said the 33-year-old American, who won the biggest title
of his career at the 2011 WGC-Cadillac Championship.
"I'll just keep doing my job and see where I end up."
Former U.S. Open champion Ogilvy made eight birdies on the way to a
bogey-free 64 that included a tally of just 26 putts.
"I played well," said the Australian, a seven-times winner on the
PGA Tour. "Eight birdies is the most I've had for a long time.
"I hit the ball really well, and then I actually had a few short
ones I didn't make. But I did make a couple bonus long ones."
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg
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