Travelers Championship. Kevin Crushes It.

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Kevin Streelman crushes the course to win the Travelers Championship.

 

Kevin Streelman

Kevin Streelman / Getty Images

Kevin carded seven birdies in a row to score a final round of -6 under par 64, and win the Travelers Championship with a -15 under par total.

“It’s probably my favorite nine holes on the PGA Tour, but you can’t plan for something like that to happen. It just kind of falls into place. I had 10 one-putts in a row, that’s something I’ve definitely never done before. I didn’t have too many expectations coming here.”

“I knew when that putt fell on 16 that something kind of special was happening. I was thinking about her (Sophie) on those last couple of putts. I was thinking, `You know what? If these go in, great. If not, great. She’s going to love me either way and we have a nice family vacation coming up either way.”

“When you’re in the zone like that, when athletes talk about being in the zone, everything is really slow, and it’s really clear and concise, and it’s very vivid, the lines are easy to see. The hole seems to appear bigger. It’s almost to a point it doesn’t matter how you read the putts because you just know they’re going in before you hit them.”

Sergio Garcia and K.J. Choi tied for second place, at -14 under par, Sergio said it was just not his day;

“At the end of the day he played really, really well, I feel like I played quite nicely and it just wasn’t my time.”

 

 

Travelers Championship. Ryan Wants More Chips.

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Ryan Moore chipped in for Eagle as he ascended the leaderboard at the Travelers Championship.

Ryan Moore carded a 66 to take a one-shot lead on Saturday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Ryan Moore / Getty Images

Ryan carded a third round -4 under par, which included a chip in for eagle at the par five 6th hole. He now sits atop the Travelers Championship leaderboard at -13 under par, a one shot lead. He reported that he likes the grass here, and is used to chipping well on it;

“It’s just funny how weeks go. This is the type of grass and everything I grew up on, and I think I’m comfortable with chipping and the putting aspects on this golf course and I think that’s where the success comes from.”

“Today was a great examples of ‘It doesn’t have to be pretty’ to shoot a great golf score. I honestly didn’t feel great all day hitting the ball, but drove it well enough to kind of keep myself out of trouble.”

“I generally don’t tend to over practice here in general, but I’ve even cut back a little bit, I think it’s good. I’ve kind of showed up every day with a good focus and just ready to go play golf.”

“This is a tournament I really want to win and I know it’s a tournament I can win.”

Ozzie Aaron Baddeley is in second place at -12 under par for the tournament, he thinks it is possible to birdie every hole here;

“Around here you feel like you should birdie every hole. There are a lot of birdie holes out there.” 

Sergio Garcia, K.J. Choi, Scott Langley and Michael Putnam are all tied for third position at -11 under par.

Sergio is enjoying his golf, but not the exit of Spain from the World Cup in Brasil;

“It’s been a solid season so far, there’s no question I’d like to have played better at the Masters and last week at the US Open.”

“We’ve had such great six years with two European Cups and one World Cup. I wasn’t expecting for the team to not get through the group stages, but I thought the season was getting very long,  maybe they get to the quarterfinals, semifinals, they would play very well. But it’s different out there in South America for the European teams, so it was a little disappointing on that aspect. But there’s nothing that I can do.”

Sergio Garcia / Getty Images

 

Travelers Championship. Langley One Ahead at Half-way.

dragon logo darkTravelers Championship Logo Scott Langley is one shot ahead of a packed field in the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. Scott Langley backed his opening 64 with a 65 to take the 36-hole lead at TPC River Highlands. (Michael Cohen/Getty Images) Scott Langley / Getty Images Scott returned a second round score of -5 under par 65 to lead the Travelers Championship by one shot at -11 under par.  He carded eight birdies, a double bogey and a bogey in his second round at TPC River Highlands. Scott will not be thinking about any special possibilities that could be ahead; “ I’ve been in contention, I played in the final group on Sunday at Memorial. This weekend, I’m not going to think about possibilities. I’m not going to think about what it means to win. I’m not going to think about any of that stuff. I’m just going to keep my head down and play my game.” He was also annoyed about the double bogey; “I was ticked off because it was such an easy mistake, a simple wedge shot. I’ve given myself a lot of short birdie opportunities the first two days. Those are nice, when you start adding up three, four and five almost tap-in birdies, that just really kind of boosts you up.” On this low scoring congested leaderboard Michael Putnam, Harris English and K.J. Choi are just a stroke back at -10 under par. Michael shot -7 under par 63, matching the best round of the day. Harris shot a 64, and K.J. a second round 65. Michael said his 63 could have been even better, but a three putt got in the way; “It was a perfect day for scoring. It left myself in some good spots and made a couple putts. I actually three-putted 13 for par so it could have been even better.” The defending champion Ken Duke has a -3 under par tournament total, after a very sad +2 over par 72 second round, which kind of blew away his good round yesterday of 65; “I hit a lot of bad shots and I have no excuse for it, but yeah, it’s good to finish strong and be here for the weekend. That’s what you always want to do.” The Masters champion Bubba Watson, the 2010 Travelers winner, followed his opening 67 with a +2 over par 72 to make the cut by a stroke at -1 under par. Looking at the scoring here so far I think the winner will have four rounds in the low 60’s, it’s just a case of  How Low Can You Go.

Travelers Championship. Brendon Shows his Steele with the Short Stick.

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Brendon Steele showed his steel at the Travelers Championship, needing only 26 putts in his opening round at TPC River Highlands.

Brendan Steele was rolling -- literally -- in the first round of the Travelers Championship. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

 

Brendon and his short stick / Getty Images

 

Brendon carded  first round -8 under par 62 to lead the tournament by one shot. This is the result of him ditching the long putter and reverting to a conventional short stick;

“I always kind of work with it, I made the change because I had nothing to lose at U.S. Open qualifying because I shot 74 in the morning,” Steele said. So it was a good time to do it.”

The thoughts of a 59 did enter his mind;

“The thoughts crept in, if they don’t creep in, do I shoot 59, do I shoot 65? I don’t know. That’s hard to say, but it definitely was in the back of my mind, so probably amped me up a little bit more, so made everything a little bit tougher.”

Two players shared second place at -7 under par, they are Ryan Moore and Bud Cauley.

Ryan spoke about his 63, and it is much easier than last week;

“There are probably a few factors, being that it’s the week after the U.S. Open I think helps.  Golf just seems so much easier when you’re not playing on a U.S. Open golf course.”

“Besides that, I’m from the Pacific Northwest, and the grass and the greens are very similar to this, so it kind of always has a little feel of what I grew up on, which I think that just adds a certain amount of comfort. The tee shots and second shots into the greens, I’m very comfortable with them.”

“I was relaxed and comfortable and just went out and played golf today instead of overdoing it and over-thinking it, which I feel like I’ve maybe done a little lately, I’ve been practicing too much.”

There are a bunch of five guys tied at -6 under par, on this tightly packed leaderboard, and this is shaping up to be a very low scoring tournament.

A moment of brilliance came from Trevor Immelman, he made a rare albatross, (not a double eagle) at the par five 13th hole. He knocked a 3-wood from 246 yards, and into the hole. Well done Trevor.

He said that he and his caddie thought the ball had gone through the green, until they heard the cheers from the crowd;

“For a minute we thought it had gone over the green, and then we saw the ball come back. It was just cresting the air and came back, and I said to my caddie that’s got a chance, and then the next thing the guys by the green were jumping up.”

By a strange coincidence, over the last three years, there have been eight albatrosses on the PGA TOUR. and a South African has had one each year,Charl Schwartzel made one at last year’s RBC Canadian Open, then Louis Oosthuizen carded one during the final round of the 2012 Masters.

Travelers Championship. Duke Wins In Play-Off Duel

Ken Duke won the Travelers Championship in a play-off duel with Chris Stroud at TPC River Highlands.

Late bloomer

Victorious Ken Duke / Getty Images

Ken had a last round of  -4 under par 66, for his tournament total of -12 under par. That score was equalled by Chris Stroud, who had a last round of -3 under par for his total of -12 under par.

Ken has played in 187 PGA Tour events without a win, but he never gave up hope, and was rewarded today for his diligence, recording a birdie on the second play-off hole to claim victory. He admitted it has been a long journey;

” Yeah, it’s been a long time,  I’ve been on the Canadian Tour, the mini tours, Asian Tour, South American Tour, all of them, Web.com, and it’s just great to be a part of this big family on the PGA TOUR. You gotta believe in yourself in everything you do. That’s why those guys at the top are winning week in, week out because they believe they can do it. It’s kind of one of those things once you finally do it, it might come easier the next time. That’s kind of the way I feel.”

Chris spoke about the difficulty of working out the club required for the correct yardage;

” I had three shots from 94 yards on 18, the exact same yardage, and I could not figure out a way to stop that ball.  “Regulation, luckily, I chipped it in.”

In Third place was Graham DeLaet, one shot adrift at -11 under par.

Graham pledged to donate $1000 for every birdie he made to the relief fund for the people of Alberta, where widespread flooding is blamed for at least three deaths and forced thousands to evacuate. PGA TOUR Canada, a Bank and a Canadian businessman all agreed to match the donation. Graham finished with three birdies on Sunday and nine in total for the weekend;

” Hopefully it puts a small dent in what they need, but our hearts are still with them.”

Bubba Watson blew his chances away with a triple bogey six on the par three 16th hole. A very costly error, as he was leading at the time, he spoke about the shot afterwards;

“The wind affected the first shot, and the wind didn’t affect the next shot. I flew it 3 feet past the hole, which you can’t do right now because the greens are so firm.”

Bubba finished alone in fourth spot at -10 under par, how he missed those three dropped shots on sixteen.

Travelers Championship. Bubba’s Bogeys Blow It

Bubba Watson did not pull away from the field at the Travelers Championship,  as I hopefully reported yesterday. Instead he fell to a round of even par 70,  after starting with three birdies on the front nine, and gave them up with three bogey’s on the inward nine to record an even par round, and stay at -10 under par for the championship.

Opportunity knocks

Graham DeLaet, Bubba Watson and Charlie Hoffman / Getty Images

While Bubba stood still, Graham DeLaet and Charlie Hoffman moved up. Graham with a -5 under par 65, and Charlie with his -4 under par 66, both of them caught Bubba at the top on -10 under par.

Bubba  carded three bogeys in his last six holes, while Graham had the low score of the day at -5 under par. Bubba was pretty philosophical about today’s round;

“I hit some shots today that were really good, quality shots. I got a couple bad breaks here and there, but that’s golf. At the end of the day I still have a chance on Sunday and that’s what we’re always looking for. I think we’ve never seen the golf course like this, as firm as it is and as firm as some of the greens are. It’s hard to get to certain points, so a lot of people probably played it safe.”

Graham has pledged to donate $1,000 for every birdie he makes this weekend and $2,500 for every eagle to help the relief efforts for the heavy rain and flooding in Alberta, Canada;

” It’s a pretty small part, what we’re doing, but anything helps, there’s a lot of help from everyone all across Canada. I did play well pretty much all day. I had a lot of good birdie chances on the front nine, just couldn’t really seem to find the hole. Julien my caddie, just told me to stay patient.”

 Charley, who lost his chance at winning last year’s Travelers Championship on the 71st hole, with a tee shot into the water, said;

” Obviously if I get on 17 tee in the lead, I’d be lying to say I’m not going to think about that tee shot. But I’m a much more mature, better player than I was a year ago and don’t feel uncomfortable on that tee shot. I got off to a pretty quick start and then birdied ten, thought I was going to get going again. And then a little three-putt bogey on twelve sort of slowed things down.”

Tied in fourth spot are Chris Stroud who had a third round -4 under par 66, and Nick O’Hern with his -2 under par 68. Both players are on -9 under par for the tournament.

There are seven players at a log jam in seventh place at -7 under par, they include the U.S. Open Champion, Justin Rose who carded a -2 under par 68 to add to his total.

This could be anybody’s title, how amazing would it be for Justin Rose to triumph again, just one week after his first Major win.

Travelers Championship. Brilliant Bubba Means Business

Brilliant Bubba Watson shot a second round at  the Travelers Championship of -3 under par 67, to take control of the top of the leaderboard at TPC River Highlands on -10 under par.

Course of comfort

Bubba Watson / Getty Images

Bubba said he likes the course and that he always plays well here;

“I love this place, I always play well here. The tee shots set up well for me, I like the way they look. There’s about two tee shots on the whole course that are really tough for me. Other than that, the course sets up well for me. It’s funny, last year if I don’t hit the hook shot and I don’t win, I don’t have a win all year, even though it was my best year on TOUR. I’m looking to be more consistent. I had a lot more top 25’s over the last few years, a lot less cuts.”

Tied in second place at -8 under par are, Patrick Reed and Padraig Harrington, both players have had two rounds of -4 under par 66. The  windy conditions kept many of those who began their rounds in the afternoon from equaling the scores of their early rising opponents, but Padraig was one of those who did manage it;

” It did get windy out there, it was a challenge but there were still opportunities to make birdies. I didn’t hit it perfect in any shape or form on the first two days, so I’m not exactly brimming with confidence.”

There are four players occupying fourth spot at -7 under par, they are; Tag Ridings, Nick O’Hern, Tommy Gainey and Hunter Mahan, who is recovering from his massive effort at Merion in the U.S. Open.

U.S. Open Champion Justin Rose admitted to feeling tired, he made bogey on River Highlands’ two easiest holes, Nos. 2 and 15;

“I haven’t hit the ball quite as solidly as I would have liked to. I just think I need to maybe go and take care of my body a little bit, some stretching, some physio, maybe a workout, just work out a few kinks. I feel a little bit stiff and tight in the back and the hips.”

It is still a neatly compact leaderboard, but if Bubba makes a move on Saturday he could start the final round with a comfortable lead.