Watson completes Travelers Championship hat-trick
Bubba Watson sealed his third Travelers Championship title after firing a seven-under 63 to come from six shots behind to overhaul Paul Casey in Connecticut.
Casey was four shots to the good going into the final round, but the Englishman faltered on Sunday and finished three adrift following back-to-back bogeys on the 16th and 17th.
He ended up in a four-way tie for second along with former Champion Golfer of the Year Stewart Cink, who won The 138th Open at Turnberry in 2009, after he shot 62 at TPC River Highlands.
Watson and Cink now appear in good shape to continue America’s recent dominance of the majors at Carnoustie, with the last five going the way of golfers from the United States.
Two-time major winner Watson shot 33 on the front nine, before getting it going on the back nine with five birdies to claim his third PGA Tour title of the season.
“I feel like this is my home course,” Watson said afterwards. “As soon as they put the schedule up, I sign up for this. I want to come back here.
“This means so much, not only from the golf side of it, but from the family side. My dad, it was the only time he got to see me win (in 2010). He got to see me qualify for the Ryder Cup at this event. So all these things just mean so much to my family.”
NO HEROICS FOR SPIETH
Champion Golfer of the Year Jordan Spieth was unable to repeat his final-round heroics from last year as his defence of the Travelers Championship fell short.
The 24-year-old started the week with an opening round of 63 to take the share of the lead, but he played the final three rounds in a combined three-over to finish outside the top 40.
Despite not being able to retain the title he won in dramatic fashion in 2017 - with a holed bunker shot on the first play-off hole – Spieth took encouragement from his progress.
“A lot of cut-line golf, which is somewhat unusual historically for me, fortunately,” Spieth said after closing with a one-under 69. “Kind of a grind, but I made actually a lot of progress where I needed to within the last few weeks.
“My putting’s right on point where it needs to be. It’s getting better every single week. It’s the best it’s been in a couple years.”
Spieth was not the only Champion Golfer unable to live with Watson’s pace, with Rory McIlroy and Zach Johnson among those who finished in the top 20 in Connecticut.
CHOI BOOKS OPEN SPOT
South Korea’s Minchel Choi secured his place among the field at Carnoustie after shooting a two-under-par final round to win the KOLON Korea Open.
The 29-year-old finished two shots clear of compatriot and pre-tournament favourite Park Sang-hyun, sinking a ten-foot birdie putt on the last to finish with a 12-under total of 272.
While Park was unable to add to his victory at the Maekyung Open last month, he also qualified for The 147th Open next month as the runner-up at The Open Qualifying Series event.
“This win goes out to my family and sponsors who have been behind me in every step of my career,” Choi said after coming out on top at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club.
“I'm really excited about going to Carnoustie and play in my first major. It's like a dream come true and no words can express how delighted I’m right now.
“There will be many world class players at The Open and I can't wait to compete against them.”
WALLACE CLOSES IN ON TOP 50
Matt Wallace claimed his second European Tour title of the season after overcoming a stunning charge from Thorbjørn Olesen to win the BMW International Open.
The 28-year-old from London left a stellar field including two-time major winner Martin Kaymer trailing in his wake. The win means Wallace has earned an exemption to The 147th Open next month.
Wallace made five birdies in seven holes from the turn to sign for a bogey-free 65 and finish one shot ahead of Olesen, who had shot a record-breaking 61 to take the clubhouse lead.
“It’s brilliant to win here in Germany,” he said. “The BMW is such a great event and to play against the likes of Martin Kaymer and the guys at the top there, it's great.
“I work hard for this. I believe I can do it. I want to go further, I want to keep building on this. Obviously, this gives me a lot of confidence to go on and play well and I want to kick on and hopefully do this in the bigger events from now on.”
For more information about The 147th Open Championship including tickets visit: TheOpen.com/Tickets