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Bubba resurgence continues with Travelers triumph
The Travelers Championship is one of the tournaments on the schedule that nearly always delivers drama, and this year was no different.
Paul Casey started the day with a four-shot lead, but was eventually reeled in by a charging Bubba Watson who shot 63 to win his third title at TPC River Highlands.
Watson began with four straight pars, but a birdie at the 5th sparked a stretch of quite stunning golf. He’d go on to make a further two birdies on the front-nine, and then birdied 10, 12, 13, 15 and 18 – where he very nearly holed his approach.
The pressure was then firmly on Casey, who hadn’t looked quite right all day. He birdied his first hole but the wheels fell off when he reached the 16th after missing a three-footer for par. On the very next hole, Casey pushed his drive into the water to all but end his chance.
J.B. Holmes needed to hole his approach on the final hole to force a playoff, but a sloppy bogey meant Watson would run out a comfortable three-shot winner.
It’s Watson’s 12th PGA Tour victory and he is putting together quite the season after such a poor stretch last year. Prior to 2018, Watson’s last win came in 2016 at the Northern Trust Open. It’s only June and already he has won the Genesis Open, the WGC-Match Play and now the Travelers Championship.
One of the most bizarre stories of the week came on Saturday, when Zach Johnson was given a penalty after his ball fell into the hole after the allowed 10 seconds.
Playing the par-4 third hole, Johnson hit his putt and the ball teetered on the edge of the hole. The former Open and Masters champion walked to his ball, waited 10 seconds, and then went to tap in only for the ball to drop into the hole on its own.
“The ball’s deemed to be at rest,” said the PGA Tour vice president of rules, Mark Russell. “If it falls in after the 10 seconds, you’ve deemed to have holed out with your previous shot and add one.
“If that would have happened with eight seconds once he had reached the hole, he would have made a 3. But that’s a specific rule dealing with ball overhanging hole.” Golf’s rules never fail to confuse.
“This year has been like a new start for me, a rookie season for me..”