Bubba Watson overhauls Paul Casey to win Travelers

The American came from six shots back to record his third win of the season so far

Bubba Watson poses for photos with the trophy after winning the Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour. Photo: Stew Milne/AP Photo

Bubba Watson poses for photos with the trophy after winning the Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour. Photo: Stew Milne/AP Photo

 

Bubba Watson stormed back from six strokes behind in the final round to overhaul Englishman Paul Casey and win the Travelers Championship by three strokes in Cromwell, Connecticut on Sunday.

Watson carded a seven-under-par 63, capping a dominant performance with a three-foot birdie at the final hole at TPC River Highlands after almost sinking his wedge approach shot.

The American finished at 17-under 263 to become the first three-times winner on the PGA Tour this year.

“It’s been an amazing ride, my whole career, but this year has been outstanding,” Watson told reporters after securing his 12th PGA Tour title.

He previously won in February at Riviera in Los Angeles, also for the third time, and in March at the World Golf Championships-Match Play in Austin, Texas.

Rory McIlroy’s final round 67 saw him tie for 12th at 11 under par while Séamus Power carded the same score on the final day to finish tied for 36 and receive a much-needed boost in the FedEx Cup rankings. Power now moves up to 119th in the money list and inside the top-125 which would see him keep his card and get into the FedEx Cup playoffs.

A disappointing final round of 74 saw Pádraig Harrington finish well back at four over par.

Casey started the day with a four-shot cushion over his closest rival, American Russell Henley, but a birdie at the first hole was the Englishman’s only one the entire day as his swing deserted him.

He carded 72 to tie for second at 14-under with Americans J.B. Holmes (67), Stewart Cink (62) and Beau Hossler (66). Henley finished a further shot back in a tie for sixth.

Watson took a while to reel in Casey, finally doing so with a 10-foot birdie at the 15th hole.

“That’s when I think I tied him at 16-under, so that’s when I really started thinking, OK, we can win this thing,” said Watson, who also beat Casey in the same event in 2015 via a playoff.

Sunday’s performance all but ensures Watson a spot on the United States team for the Ryder Cup against Europe in Paris in September. He failed to make the victorious 2016 team.

“I didn’t think it was possible to get 10 wins. Then I get 10 wins and now I’ve got two more,” he said.

“Now I just need one more in Augusta and that would be great.”

Casey described his day as “terribly frustrating” after posting his eighth career runner-up finish on the PGA Tour, to go with two victories.

He hit some poor drives, not least at the par-five 13th, which leaked right into a hazard, but his putter saved him for most of the day, until the 16th, where his missed a four-footer.

“I fought my golf swing all day, as you could see coming down the last couple of holes,” he said.

“You’ve got to give credit to Bubba but I’ll go away and analyse this and see what we can do better in future.”

Collated final scores & totals in the USPGA Tour Travelers Championship, TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut, United States of America (par 70, Irish in bold)

263 Bubba Watson 70 63 67 63

266 J.B. Holmes 66 68 65 67, Beau Hossler 65 67 68 66, Paul Casey (Eng) 65 67 62 72, Stewart Cink 68 68 68 62

267 Russell Henley 66 65 67 69, Brian Harman 64 66 69 68, Kevin Tway 71 64 67 65

268 Chase Seiffert 66 71 67 64, Bryson DeChambeau 66 66 68 68, Anirban Lahiri (Ind) 67 67 65 69

269 Jason Day (Aus) 66 68 66 69, Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 64 69 69 67, Ryan Blaum 69 65 66 69

270 Danny Lee (Nzl) 67 68 66 69, Charley Hoffman 69 66 69 66, Kyle Stanley 67 69 65 69, Patrick Cantlay 69 68 65 68

271 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 69 67 66 69, Brooks Koepka 68 69 69 65, Matt Jones (Aus) 65 66 70 70, Zach Johnson 63 68 71 69, David Lingmerth (Swe) 67 67 71 66, Jamie Lovemark 68 69 64 70, Fabian Gomez (Arg) 71 67 68 65

272 Peter Malnati 64 72 68 68, Richy Werenski 68 69 68 67, Steve Marino 66 68 70 68, Sam Ryder 68 70 70 64, Patrick Rodgers 69 68 67 68, Blayne Barber 68 69 68 67, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 66 70 70 66

273 Tyler Duncan 68 69 68 68, Kevin Streelman 68 69 67 69, Alex Cejka (Ger) 67 71 70 65

274 James Hahn 70 67 67 70, Seamus Power (Ire) 70 67 70 67

275 Scott Stallings 68 67 73 67, Lanto Griffin 70 63 70 72, Russell Knox (Sco) 73 64 70 68, Brandon Harkins 72 66 68 69

276 J.J. Henry 68 68 71 69, Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 67 68 71 70, Adam Hadwin (Can) 68 69 73 66, Brett Stegmaier 70 67 69 70, Jordan Spieth 63 73 71 69

277 Scott Brown 68 69 65 75, Vaughn Taylor 66 72 71 68, Kelly Kraft 66 72 70 69, Sam Saunders 72 66 71 68, Billy Hurley III 71 67 71 68, Keegan Bradley 68 70 69 70, Denny McCarthy 70 68 66 73, Wesley Bryan 70 68 67 72, J.J. Spaun 68 67 71 71

278 Hunter Mahan 68 68 68 74, Justin Thomas 66 69 70 73, Ken Duke 70 68 68 72, Ryan Armour 67 71 70 70, Keith Mitchell 70 68 70 70

279 Tom Lovelady 70 67 70 72, (a) Nick Hardy 69 68 70 72, Martin Laird (Sco) 67 71 70 71, John Huh 66 70 74 69, James Driscoll 66 72 70 71, Steve Wheatcroft 68 70 70 71

280 Trey Mullinax 67 71 70 72, Daniel Berger 67 71 73 69

281 Ethan Tracy 68 69 72 72, Kyle Thompson 71 67 73 70, Cameron Tringale 72 65 74 70

282 Martin Flores 68 70 72 72, Dominic Bozzelli 74 64 77 67

284 Pádraig Harrington (Ire) 66 69 75 74

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