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April 28 2013

4:45 PM

Zurich brings out best in Watkins

By Brian Allee-Walsh, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

AVONDALE, La. -- TPC Louisiana seems to bring out the best in Aaron Watkins.

The 30-year-old journeyman guaranteed himself his best payday on the PGA TOUR this season with a final-round 65 and 13-under finish Sunday at the rain-soaked Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Watkins' best previous finish on TOUR came in the 2009 Zurich Classic when he finished T7 and won $203,175.

He had missed the cut in five of six events this season with his only payout coming at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com when he tied for 30th.

"My scores didn't show it,'' Watkins said. "But I felt it was right around the corner. It's just a matter of getting some putts to drop. I felt like I've been hitting the ball well, just not scoring that well.''

Watkins' bogey-free round featured seven birdies, including a 20-footer on the 191-yard, par-3 ninth, his finishing hole.

"That was big,'' he said. "I putted good all day today. It was nice to see 'em fall. I gave myself opportunities and took advantage of them and got one on the last.''

Unaccustomed to being in the top 10 in a TOUR event, Watkins said he felt some angst on his finishing holes.

"I kind of got a little nervous because I saw myself getting a little closer to the lead,'' he said. "But then (Billy) Horschel took off. Hopefully, my score stays where it is. But I got a feeling with the course playing as soft as it is with lift, clean and place, the guys are going to continue making birdies.

"But regardless where I finish or how much money I make here, the way I've been playing and to play like I did this week, it shows my game is moving in the right direction. It's nice to see it all come together.''

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