Watson wins after Rose blows it
Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship in a three-man sudden-death play-off after Justin Rose blew his overnight lead.
Justin Rose saw his hopes of a second PGA Tour title in a month slide away after a disastrous final round in Connecticut as Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship in a sudden-death play-off.
Left-hander Watson won his maiden title on tour at the second play-off hole from United States Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin and Scott Verplank at TPC River Highlands near Hartford.
Rose, who won his first tournament in the United States at the Memorial on June 6, had taken a three-shot lead over Ben Curtis into the last day after rounds of 64, 62 and 68.
But the Englishman left the par-70 course on Sunday with a closing 75 on his card having fallen into a tie for ninth place, having completed the back nine of his final round with one birdie, three bogeys and one double bogey.
It was an all-American play-off after Verplank had posted a final-round, six-under-par 64 while Watson and Pavin each posted 66s to all finish on 14 under, with compatriot Chris Riley’s 65 getting him to 13 under for fourth place.
Off the 18th tee at the first play-off hole, Pavin, the shortest driver of the ball on the Tour and Watson, the longest, were 102 yards apart and Pavin, 229 from the hole after taking a three wood off the tee, sent his approach into a bunker below the green.
Verplank, between them, sent his ball to around eight feet but Watson dialled in his pitching wedge and put the ball inches from the hole.
He tapped in, and Pavin bowed out after failing to hole out from the bunker, leaving Verplank to hole his birdie putt to extend the play-off.
At the par-three 16th, Watson held his nerve for par after Verplank missed his par putt before dissolving into tears.
There were distinctly different emotions for Rose. After his third bogey of the day at the 12th, he rebounded at 13 with a birdie but then found himself back in trouble at the short par-four 15th when his three-wood off the tee found water on the way to a double bogey.
Watson had temporarily lost his share of the lead with a double bogey at 17 but birdied the last to make it a three-way tie, leaving Rose needing two birdies from his final three holes to make it a four-way play-off.
Instead, the 29-year-old met with further disaster at the par-three 16th as he rolled a two-foot par putt past the hole and took bogey to slip to 11 under before grimly parring the final two holes.
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington had made a late run from 10 shots off the lead and was seven under for his round until a bogey at the par-3 16th checked his progress. The three-time major winner carded a 64 to finish at 12 under in a tie for fifth place with Retief Goosen of South Africa (67) and Americans Rocky Barnes (68) and Chad Campbell (66).
Like his playing partner Rose, former Open champion Curtis also had a day to forget, with his final-round 73 dropping him to 10 under and a tie for 13th.
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