Nick Watney was born on this day in 1981. An American professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour. The highlight of Watney’s career to date is his victory at the 2011 WGC-Cadillac Championship. In July 2011, Watney broke into the top ten of the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time in his career, after his victory at the AT&T National, placing him tenth in the world.
Watney’s first professional victory came in 2003 at the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial on the Canadian Tour. The next year he played on the Nationwide Tour, and after winning the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship, Watney earned qualification for the PGA Tour.
In 2007, after two years of slow progress, Watney won his first PGA Tour title at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. This victory took Watney into the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time. He got his second tour win at the 2009 Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, with a one-stroke victory over John Rollins, taking him to his highest position yet in the World Golf Rankings, number 76.
In the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Watney had a three-shot lead going into the final round. However, he shot a final round of 81, which dropped him back to a tie for 18th place.
Watney won the biggest tournament of his career to date and his first World Golf Championship at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral Golf Resort & Spa in March 2011. He entered the final round trailing by two strokes, but shot a final round 67, including a run of four birdies in five holes in the middle of the round, and finished with a birdie at the notoriously difficult 18th, to record a two-stroke victory over compatriot Dustin Johnson.
In July, Watney won for the second time in 2011 at the AT&T National by beating KJ Choi by two strokes. The victory owed much to his third-round score when he set a course record 62 around Aronimink Golf Club, beating the previous record set coincidently on the same day, which Chris Kirk and Steve Marino held briefly with joint 63s. Watney shot a 27 on the back nine, which tied the second lowest nine-hole score ever recorded on the PGA Tour. The record is held by Corey Pavin who shot 26 at the US Bank Championship in Milwaukee in 2006. During the final round Watney did not record a single bogey, making a number of crucial par saving putts to hold off the challenge of Choi and capture his fourth PGA Tour title. This win took Watney to the top of the FedEx Cup standings, ahead of Choi, and into the top ten of the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time in his career. He finished the 2011 season ranked third on the PGA Tour money list.
During the first round of the 2012 US Open at the Olympic Club, Watney made a double eagle on the par-five 17th hole to become only the third man to record a double eagle in US Open history. The others being TC Chen in 1985 at Oakland Hills and Shaun Micheel in 2010 at Pebble Beach.
In August 2012, Watney won the first of the four FedEx Cup playoff events, The Barclays, at Bethpage Black in New York. He came from two behind in the final round to win by three strokes over Brandt Snedeker to take the outright lead in the FedEx Cup standings. This was the first playoff event victory of his career. After Rory McIlroy won the second playoff event, Watney dropped to second in the standings.