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Fighting finish by Rory McIlroy as Bubba Watson wins Genesis Open

By Brian Keogh

Rory McIlroy saved the best for last in Los Angeles.

Tied for 42nd in the Genesis Open overnight after a disappointing, two-over 73 on Saturday, the four-time major winner birdied his last two holes to close with a three-under 68 and a likely top 25 finish on three-under par.

Bubba Watson took the $1.3m top prize on 12 under par after a final round 69. But early pacesetter Graeme McDowell slipped out of the top 25 with a 77 yesterday to end two under.

Missing the cut in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am before making up the numbers in Los Angeles wasn't quite the West Coast swing Holywood star McIlroy had in mind.

However, there were still moments to savour on the final day, such as his magical birdie at the par-five 11th, where he hit recovered from deep in the trees with a low bullet before floating a 130-yard approach to five feet and brushing in the putt.

While another poor drive led to a bogey at the 13th, he hit a stunning 173-yard approach to three feet at the 495-yard first to set up an eagle three, then followed a bogey at the tough fifth by holing a 12-footer at the eighth and a ticklish, three-and-a-half footer for another birdie at the ninth

The Co. Down man looked set to take home more than $60,000 - a drop in the ocean for a player with career earnings on the PGA Tour alone of $35.5 million.

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