Travelers Championship 2017
Round 4 - Jordan Spieth wins in a playoffJune 26, 2017
Jordan Spieth needed an extra hole, a little bit of luck and an amazing final shot to finish off a wire-to-wire victory in the Travelers Championship.
The two-time major champion holed out from 60 feet for birdie from a greenside bunker on the first hole of a playoff with Daniel Berger on Sunday at TPC River Highlands.
The 23-year-old Texan joined Tiger Woods as the only PGA Tour players in the era since World War II with 10 victories before the age of 24. Woods won 15 times before he turned 24.
''That was one for the ages,'' said Spieth, also the winner at Pebble Beach in February.
Spieth held a one-stroke edge after each of the first three rounds. He closed with an even-par 70 to match Berger - who birdied three of the final six holes for a 67 - at 12-under 268.
Berger, the Memphis winner two weeks ago before missing the cut last week at the U.S. Open, just missed a 50-foot putt from off the 18th green left that would have forced a second playoff hole.
''Jordan does Jordan things,'' Berger said. ''So there's not really much you can say. I'm obviously disappointed, but happy to be in the position I was in today.''
Berger began the round in third place, three shots back. He tied Spieth for a lead with a 5-foot birdie putt on 15 as Spieth was making bogey on 14 and tied him again with a birdie from 8 feet at 17.
The pair, playing a group apart, both hit their approach shots on 18 into the same greenside bunker. Both chipped out close to the hole and both saved par to force the playoff.
Berger hit his drive on the first playoff hole left and into the crowd behind a fairway bunker. Spieth seemed to clip a tree left landing in the fairway but about 150 yards short of his normal drive and 230 yards from the hole.
Spieth's approach fell into bunker. Berger's ran off the green to the left.
Spieth had to back up after hitting his bunker shot to see the hole. When the ball rolled straight in the cup he threw his club and did a flying chest bump into caddie Michael Greller.
''If I was in Berger's shoes, I be cursing Jordan Spieth right now for the break off the tee and then holing a 30-yard bunker shot, that's a lot of luck,'' Spieth said.
Spieth didn't waste any time extending his lead to three strokes Sunday. He hit his approach shot to 6 feet on the first hole and made the birdie putt, then made a 5-footer at No. 2. But those would be his final two birdies until a 16-footer on the 15th hole.
He also survived a couple of big scares. The first came when his drive on 13 went right but stuck on the side of a hill to stay out of the water. He missed a 7-foot birdie putt, but saved par.
He then hit his tee shot on the 15th left, just avoiding the water and the hazard line in the rough. He chipped to the middle of the green and made a 16-foot putt for birdie, which he thought he had missed. .
His second shot at 17 also looked as if it might hit the course's signature lake, but landed just on the edge of the green and he made par.
''That's a lot of luck,'' Spieth said. ''But I took advantage of the good breaks and am happy to come out on top.''
He's the third player to go wire-to-wire alone in the lead at the Connecticut event. Gene Littler did it in 1959 and Tim Morris in 1982. Spieth's only other wire-to-wire win was the 2015 Masters.
Sunday's win was also his first win in a tournament debut. The last player to win in Cromwell in his first start was Phil Blackmar in 1985.
Charley Hoffman (66) and Danny Lee (67) tied for third, three strokes back.
Boo Weekley, who began the round a shot back in second place, shot 37 on the back nine to tie for fifth at 9 under, despite the support of a large gallery, which could be heard cheering ''Boooo!'' and ''Boo-S-A!'' every time he did something good.
Rory McIlroy tried to find his short game this week and used his third putter Sunday to help him shoot a 64, his lowest round on the tour this season. He tied for 17th at 6 under.
''I must say I felt a little more comfortable on the greens than I did the previous three days,'' McIlroy said. ''So, this might be one that stays (in the bag) for a few weeks.''
Defending champion Russell Knox had a poor round, with six bogeys on his first 10 holes. He shot a 73 to finish at even par.
Grayson Murray had the tournament's only hole-in-one, acing the 177 yard eighth hole with an 8-iron. It also was the first on tour for the 23-year-old North Carolinian. He shot a 68 to finish at 5 under.
Round 3 - Jordan Spieth maintains slim advantageJune 25, 2017
Jordan Spieth continues to play just a little better than anyone else at the Travelers Championship.
The 23-year-old Texan closed with a 20-foot birdie putt for a 4-under 66 on Saturday, giving him a one-stroke lead for the third straight round at TPC River Highlands.
After predicting earlier that it would take a score of 16 under to win, the two-time major champion took a 12-under 198 total into the final round.
Boo Weekley was second after a 65. The 43-year-old Weekley, playing just in front of Spieth, birdied five of the last eight holes, basking in the chants of ''Boooo! Boooo!'' from the raucous gallery.
Spieth bogeyed Nos. 13 and 14, but matched Weekley with three birdies on the final four holes, capping it with the final shot of the round from below the hole.
''It's in the shadow,'' Spieth said. ''I'm looking to hit the putt at the right speed. If it goes in, great, if it doesn't, so be it, tap it in. With a few feet to go it was going to have a chance and it curled right in the middle. That was a loud roar, and those are really fun to experience.
Weekley is looking for his fourth tour title and first since 2013. The colorful Floridian said he's been dealing with personal issues, but declined to elaborate. His had a season-best tie for 37th at the Puerto Rico Open in March and has made just eight cuts in 21 events.
Spieth is looking for his 10th tour win and second this season after a victory in February at Pebble Beach.
Weekley acknowledged that makes for an odd final pairing Sunday.
''He loves to fish, so we've got a little in common there,'' Weekley said. ''So we can talk about that.''
Daniel Berger, looking for his second victory of the month, was three strokes back after a 66.
C.T. Pan (64), David Lingmerth (65) and Paul Casey (66) were 8 under.
Because of morning showers, the players went off in threesomes from both the first and 10th tees. But the breeze helped the greens quickly dry out and play faster than had been expected.
Pan, who went out just after the rain ended, and shot a bogey-free round. The 25-year old former University of Washington star is looking for his third top-10 finish this season and his first since finishing second at Torrey Pines in January.
''It wasn't as windy, so I made birdies on three of my first four holes,'' Pan said. ''That really helped my mindset and keep my momentum going.''
Spieth hit his first six fairways and got his first birdie of the day on the sixth hole, when he chipped in from 30 feet behind the green. He made another birdie on the next hole, before giving a shot back at No. 9. He repeated that pattern on the back nine, making birdies at 10 and 11 to go up by two strokes, then put his tee shot into the water at 13. He bogeyed that hole and 14.
But on 15, his chip from the greenside bunker landed inches from the hole and he had another birdie.
Spieth has a chance to join Phil Blackmar (1985) as the only players to win in their first start at the Connecticut event. He's also trying to become the first player to lead wire-to-wire alone in the event since Tim Norris in 1982 at Wethersfield. Peter Jacobsen had at least a share of the lead after every round in 2003.
Berger had just one bogey, at the 17th, but came back with the last of his five birdies on the final hole. He won in Memphis two weeks ago before missing the cut at the U.S. Open, which was won by his Florida State teammate, Brooks Koepka. Another former Seminole teammate, Chase Seiffert, was in contention at 4 under after qualifying for the tournament Monday.
Rory McIlroy remained at even par. He's been trying to find his short game this week and decided to switch Saturday from the putter he began using while at the U.S. Open. He spent time before his round on the practice green with several different putters before picking a new one.
The change didn't seem to help. His first putt Saturday, a birdie attempt from 12 feet, went 3 feet past the hole and he needed 33 putts during his round of 70. He was even par overall.
Round 2 - Jordan Spieth maintains leadJune 24, 2017
Jordan Spieth played well enough in the second round of the Travelers Championship to stay in the lead. Rory McIlroy played just well enough to stay in the tournament.
Spieth shot a 1-under 69 on Friday morning, then watched as a windy afternoon kept anyone from overtaking him.
The conditions also kept fourth-ranked Jason Day from making the cut for a second straight week. He bogeyed the 18th for a 70 to finish at 2 over. No. 3 McIlroy shot a 73, also closing with a bogey, but managed to just sneak into the weekend at even par.
Spieth, who began the day one shot ahead after a first-round 63, started on the back nine. The 23-year-old Texan had to recover from a double bogey on the par-5 13th hole after hitting his tee shot left and out-of-bounds. He also had four birdies and a bogey to reach 8 under.
''We've been kind of far behind in a lot of the events in making comeback runs,'' said Spieth, the two-time major champion who tied for 35th last week in the U.S. Open. ''But being able to be toward the front of the pack on a Saturday afternoon is a beautiful position to be in and one that we'll certainly embrace. I'm going to try to have a lot of fun this weekend.''
Patrick Reed (66) and Troy Merritt (68) were tied for second. Both fought off wind gusts that exceeded 20 mph to hit 11 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens.
''A golf course like this, even when the wind is blowing, if you're hitting your tee shots straight, you're going to have some wedges into the greens,'' Reed said.
U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka isn't in Connecticut this week, but former Florida State teammate Chase Seiffert is in contention. The 25-year-old had to qualify Monday to get into the tournament. He made two eagles Friday and finished with a 66 to reach 6 under.
''I came into the week with no status on any tour, but I knew my game was really good,'' Seiffert said. ''I just had to get it done. To come out and play the first two rounds the way I did, it gives me a lot of confidence.
Wesley Bryan (67), Daniel Summerhays (68) and Boo Weekley (68) also were 5 under.
Graham DeLaet led briefly during the afternoon, but had a double bogey on 18 for a 70 to drop into the group at 5 under.
Eighty-five players made the cut and 68 finished within seven shots of the lead.
The biggest drama of the afternoon was watching the world's third- and fourth-ranked players try to make it to the weekend.
Day was close, until he hit his second shot at 18 into a greenside bunker. He failed to get up and down, missing a 6-footer for par.
McIlroy seemed to be in good shape on 18. He was on the right edge of the fairway and looking at a second shot 105 yards from the hole. But he slipped during the swing and the ball went just 63 yards and farther right.
''My right foot completely came out from under me,'' he said. ''Obviously, there was a tiny bit of drizzle. Maybe a little bit of surface water. Just, I don't know. It was weird. As soon as I started down, I just felt it and I couldn't stop.''
McIlroy may have saved his tournament on the 13th. After hitting his first shot in the water and taking a drop, he hit his third shot to 17 feet and made par. He then putted in from off the green on 14. McIlroy, who didn't qualify for the weekend at Erin Hills, hasn't missed consecutive cuts since 2012.
''I won't be thinking about trying to win the tournament from there,'' he said. I'll be thinking about trying to go and play a good, solid round of golf. But we have seen here in the past guys going out and shooting a low score and getting themselves back into the tournament.''
Anirban Lahiri of India, playing his first tournament since tying for second at the Memorial, shot a bogey-free 63 to move to 4 under. He made a 32-foot eagle putt on No. 13.
''I was out (since the Memorial) meditating,'' he said. ''So I've been a little bit rusty. The body is kind of easing its way back in. So I think I'm going to get better as the week progresses.''
Two-time Travelers champion Bubba Watson, who missed the cut at Erin Hills, will have another weekend off. He followed up a 75 in the first round with a 67 and finished at 2 over.
Weather could also affect the scoring Saturday. A forecast of rain led tournament officials to move the start of the third round back to 11 a.m., with the players going out in threesomes off the first and 10th tees.
Round 1 - Jordan Spieth leads with opening 63June 23, 2017
Jordan Spieth didn't take long to figure out TPC River Highlands.
Making his debut at the Connecticut course, the 23-year-old Texan had eight birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 7-under 63 and a one-stroke lead in the Travelers Championship.
Spieth birdied five of the first eight holes and took sole possession of the lead on the final hole, hitting a wedge to 4 feet for birdie on the par-4 18th.
''Being 3 under through four it helps you walk a little easier, it helps kind of the shots you are playing throughout the round,'' Spieth said. ''You don't feel like you have to take as many chances and I was able to play away from pins when I was in a little bit of trouble.''
The two-time major champion tied for 35th on Sunday in the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
Johnson Wagner and Brett Stegmaier, a Connecticut native who grew up about 25 miles from the course in Madison, were tied for second.
The 33-year-old Stegmaier said he decided to become a professional golfer while in the gallery at the tournament in 2000, watching Notah Begay sink a 25-foot birdie putt to win. It was his fourth appearance at the Travelers and his first sub-par round.
''To be here now, it's almost a little surreal,'' Stegmaier said. ''Just being on tour, I realize it's not the greatest thing in the world, because it's still a job. You still got to grind and there's low points. But with the right perspective, to be here now talking to you guys, it's pretty cool.''
Stegmaier, who missed six cuts in his last seven tournaments, had seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch in the middle of the round and closed with a bogey on No. 9.
Wagner was first into the clubhouse with a 64. He chipped in from 70 feet on his opening hole.
''It was a nice way to start and kind much calmed me down and kind of let me know today was going to be my day,'' he said.
Graham DeLaet and Troy Merritt shot 65.
Rory McIlroy, also playing for the first time at TPC River Highlands, had a 67. The third-ranked McIlroy started early on the back nine drawing large galleries before 8 a.m.
He was still experimenting with the putter he began using while missing the cut at the U.S. Open and missed five short birdie putts Thursday. But he finished with just one bogey. That came on No. 18 when he missed a 13-foot birdie putt by 3 feet, then lipped out his par attempt.
''I feel like I could have been at least three or four better, said McIlroy, who said he's giving the new putter one more week to begin working. ''I think I hit five or six putts out there that hit the hole and didn't go in.''
The tournament's strong field includes Spieth, McIlroy and fourth-ranked Jason Day.
Day, who like McIlroy missed the cut at the U.S. Open, shot a 72. Two-time Travelers champion Bubba Watson had a 75.
Spieth said he felt as if he built off what at the time seemed like a meaningless 69 in the final round at Erin Hills.
''I thought that was a round just like this,'' he said. ''I thought I played as well or even better than I did today.''
He had to overcome several distractions Thursday including a delay at the sixth hole while paramedics attended to a fan who had passed out.
The incident came several weeks after Spieth said he witnessed a fan die during the pro-am at the Memorial in Ohio.
''It's bizarre that that happens, but fortunately this lady, she got up and seemed to be just fine after she kind of cooled down for a little while and the paramedics came,'' he said. ''I mean, there's more important things than golf. But, it didn't bother us.''
Jim Furyk, like playing partner McIlroy, shot a 67. Furyk was playing his first round in Cromwell since setting a tour record with a 58 in the final round last year. He said fans were shouting at him all day to go for 57.
''Rory joked off the 10th we might hear 40s before we're done,'' he said. ''It was a fun round and it's great to come back.''
|T20||RSA||Jaco Van Zyl||-8||18||-1||70||72||67||71||280|
|T20||RSA||Trevor Fisher Jnr||-8||18||-1||69||69||71||71||280|
|T26||ESP||Eduardo De La Riva||-7||18||-1||70||68||72||71||281|
|T26||Nicolai von Dellingshausen||-7||18||-5||69||74||71||67||281|
|T26||ESP||Rafael Cabrera Bello||-7||18||-1||69||74||67||71||281|
|CUT||POR||Ricardo Melo Gouveia||Par||-||72||72||72||-||-||144|
|CUT||ESP||Jose Maria Olazabal||7||-||72||75||76||-||-||151|
|CUT||IND||Jeev Milkha Singh||10||-||72||76||78||-||-||154|