Nick Watney entered the final round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic with a share of seventh place, four shots off of the lead.
All the 31-year-old American did was sink 11 birdies through the first 17 holes—including six on the back nine—and he needed one more on the 18th hole to score a rare 59.
Instead, Watney bogeyed the hole, preferring to go for the win than the accomplishment. As the Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman notes, it was the right decision to make:
Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) October 28, 2012
This may be only one tournament win, and it came in an event that doesn't even become a full-fledged PGA Tour event until next October, after the FedEx Cup Playoffs are over—the same playoffs that saw him miss his chance to claim the Cup in 2012—but Watney is gaining momentum.
After winning the Barclays, Watney was in fourth place in the standings and many expected that he'd not only make a run at the FedEx Cup, but that he'd be selected for the United States Ryder Cup team.
The Ryder Cup never happened, and whether that affected him or not, Watney's game was not the same after the snub.
He was one of five golfers who could have won the FedEx Cup with a win at the Tour Championship, but Watney instead shot either par or worse in each of the four rounds to fall out of contention.
Which is why ending the season on a high note is so important. It gives him some of his swagger back, serving as a confidence boost that yes, he can compete with—and beat—some of the best golfers in the world.
With no Ryder Cup to worry about in 2013, Watney can ride this momentum into the 2013 PGA season with a clear mind, focused on the task at hand—big finishes and multiple wins on tour.