Travelers Championship golf: Bubba Watson claims third title of 2018 as Paul casey fades

Golf
Bubba Watson with the Travelers Championship trophy
Bubba Watson with the Travelers Championship trophy

Bubba Watson picked up his third PGA Tour title of the year with a three-shot win at the Travelers Championship after Paul Casey let a four-shot lead slip on the final day.

Leaderboard

-17 Bubba Watson

-14 Paul Casey, Stewart Cink, Beau Hossler, JB Holmes

-13 Kevin Tway, Brian Harman, Russell Henley

Day four report

Bubba Watson shot a final round of 63 to win the Travelers Championship by three strokes after Paul Casey coughed up a four-shot overnight lead to finish in a tie for second.

The American Ryder Cup hopeful and two-time Masters champion carded eight birdies and only one bogey to finish clear of a group of four players including overnight leader Casey, who shot a two-over 72.

The Englishman went into Sunday with a four-shot lead and an opening birdie strengthened his position further, but that was as good as it got as three bogeys saw him finish in a share of second with Americans Stewart Cink, JB Holmes and Beau Hossler.

Watson told Sky Sports Golf: "It was a fun round of golf and I got lucky that he (Casey) didn't have his best stuff today."

The left-hander's third win of 2018 confirms his impressive form ahead of next month's Open at Carnoustie and he also took the opportunity to send a message to his country's Ryder Cup captain.

"I'm looking forward to (the Open) and I'm hoping Jim Furyk's going to text and says, 'You're guaranteed for the Ryder Cup' - still waiting on that text!" he said.

"It's one of those years where you want it to keep going, you just don't want it to end."

Day three report

England's Paul Casey holds a four-stroke lead heading into the final round of the Travelers Championship after shooting a brilliant 62, his lowest career round on the PGA Tour.

The highlight of the 40-year-old's round was an eagle after driving the 273-yard par-four 15th at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, but a further six birdies took him to 16 under, well clear of second-placed American Russell Henley.

Casey is 2/5 with Sky Bet to claim glory on the final round on Sunday.

"That's something I rarely see from me, 18 greens in regulation, so whatever he (swing coach Peter Kostis) told me worked," said Casey in his post-round interview.

Casey, who won the Valspar Championship in March, has world number nine Jason Day and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson six shots behind but his potential Ryder Cup team-mate Rory McIlroy appears too far back to challenge.

A second successive 69 for the Northern Irishman was well off the pace, with most of his rivals scoring in the mid to low 60s, and at eight under the four-time major champion has probably left himself too much to do.

He too eagled the 15th, chipping in from the front of the green, but a bogey at the last - his third of the day after two earlier birdies - was a disappointing way to end.

Day two report

Ben Coley's pre-tournament 60/1 selection Brian Harman is the halfway leader at the Travelers Championship and now 6/1 favourite with Sky Bet. Followers of his column will also have backed Russell Henley at 66/1 and he's now 8/1, sitting just one off the pace.

Matt Jones (16/1) and Zach Johnson (8/1) are also one behind Harman, who shot a round of 66, while England's Paul Casey (17/2) moved into a share of fifth place on eight under after a 67, which included six birdies and three bogeys.

Rory McIlroy (8/1) continued to bounce back from his US Open disappointment by positioning himself three shots off the halfway lead.

The Northern Irishman, who missed the cut in the year's second major at Shinnecock Hills last week after struggling to an opening 80, followed his first round 64 with a 69 at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut.

He had briefly tied the lead when he got to eight under after holing a 20-foot putt for his second birdie of the day at the second hole, but a late bogey left the four-time major winner three adrift of Harman.

McIlroy's first birdie had come at the 296-yard 15th, where he drove into a greenside bunker and splashed out to six feet, but a bogey three holes from home dropped him back to seven under.

"I'm going to do a little bit of work on the range and try and get a little bit more comfortable for the weekend," McIlroy told pgatour.com.

"If I can put the ball on the fairway and hit my irons as well as I have done the first couple of days I'll give myself a lot of chances for birdies and it's just about converting them and taking your opportunities."

Day one report

Rory McIlroy hit back following his US Open disappointment with a solid first round at the Travelers Championship.

The 29-year-old missed the halfway cut at the US Open last week but moved a shot off the clubhouse leaders in Cromwell.

Jordan Spieth, who was also cut at halfway in New York, and Zach Johnson are out in front on seven under.

McIlroy began with four birdies in his first six holes and was four under par at the turn.

Three consecutive birdies from the 13th allowed him to move to the top of the leaderboard but he dropped a shot on the 18th.

The Northern Irishman was joined on six under by Americans Peter Malnati and Brian Harman.

England's Paul Casey remained in the hunt on five under with Padraig Harrington among several players a shot further back.

US Open champion Brooks Koepka, who defended his title last weekend, was two under.

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