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Our New Haven Register sportswriters will be filing updates all week from the Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands course in Cromwell

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Watson wins first PGA Tour event

Bubba Watson two-putted for par on the 16th hole to win his first PGA Tour event at the Travelers Championship.

Scott Verplank had missed the green long and his first putt up the slope to the putting surface bounced left, laving him about 8 feet for par, which he slid by on the left side.

Watson's win gives him a two-year exemption through the 2012 season.

Watson is the Travelers champion

Watson for birdie from about 5 feet.................Nails it. Watson wins.


Verplank's putt from about 10 feet............misses by the left side, less than two inches from the cup. Bogey.


From 50 feet, Watson gets within 5. Very makeable par.

Verplank will putt with about 10 yards of fringe between him and the green. Verplank putts and hits a bump, ball barely stays on the green. Long par putt.


Verplank hit first and missed the green on the par 3. He just barely missed the bunker.

Watson reached the green, but is no where near the hole.

Most likely a chip and a putt for Verplank, and a two-putt for Watson, and a third playoff hole.

Second Playoff Hole

Watson and Verplank will be playing No. 16 next.

Hard to believe Watson found water and double-bogeyed No. 17 when he held a 1-shot lead, fell behind by 1, birdied 18 after a 396-yard drive and is now in a 1-on-1 sudden-death playoff.


Verplank needs this birdie putt to keep his tournament alive.

Nails it, we're going to the second playoff hole, but without Corey Pavin.


Great bunker shot from Pavin, less than five feet, but not good enough to continue. Great Sunday for the 50-year-old Pavin, who will return to the Champions Tour this week.


Watson marks the ball to save the tap-in.

Pavin needs to make a bunker shot to survive.


Pavin used a 3-wood on his drive, which is only partly responsible for the 219-yard distance. His second shot landed in the bunker, short right of the green.

Verplank hit his second shot to within 10 feet of the pin. Pavin looks done.

Watson missed holing out by less than a half foot. WHAT A SHOT!!!!

Pavin definitely done, with a gimmie birdie for Watson and a very makeable birdie for Verplank.


Pavin, whose drive ended up 102 yards shorter than Watson's, will hit first.

Playoff Play-by-Play

Verplank hit first and put the ball in the middle of the fairway.
Pavin followed, also keeping it in the fairway, but about 60 yards shorter than Verplank's.
Watson drilled his shot the furthest, but all three have great lies.

Group Therapy

The three-way playoff that will begin on the 18th hole momentarily will not feature one golfer from the final three groups today.

Justin Rose entered play with a 3-shot lead and just finished his 5-over round of 75 to end up 3 shots back. Ben Curtis turned his -13 into a 10 under.

Playoff to begin at 18

the three-way playoff between Scott Verplank, Bubba Watson and Corey Pavin will begin on the 18th hole shortly

Three-way playoff looming

After a 396-yard drive courtesy of the cartpath bounce, Bubba Watson pitched to 6 feet and holed it for birdie, getting back into a three-way tie for the lead with Scott Verplank and Corey Pavin.

Justin Rose and Ben Curtis are both 2 behind and both need to birdie the final two holes to have a shot at a playoff.

Watson, Rose both hit into water

Bubba Watson skulled his second shot on the 17th hole from the bunker into the water. He then hit his fourth shot (after a one-stroke penalty), into the rough just in front of the green. He got up and down for double-bogey, falling back to 13-under for the tournament, leaving Scott Verplank and Corey Pavin in a tie for the lead. Verplank is finished, Pavin just off the green on No. 18.

Rose hookd it into the pond at No. 15, then pitched past the pin over the greenm down the slope, staring at least bogey in the face. Verplank is looking good in the clubhouse right now.

Watson just hot the cartpath on a fly off the 18th tee and has just a mere chip shot. He needs to get up and down for birdie to have a shot to tie Verplank.

Watson birdies 16th to take lead

Bubba Watson is attempting to win his first PGA Tour event. He just birdied the par-3 16th hole to get to 15-under, 1 ahead of Scott Verplank and Justin Rose, who birdied the par-5 13th hole.

Verplank, Watson the new co-leaders

Scott Verplank just missed a 16-foot birdie putt on the final hole, but his par was still good enough to give him the outright lead at 14-under-par. That lasted for about a minute because Bubba Watson birdied the par-4 15th to tie him.
That is because Justin Rose bogeyed the 12th hole to fall out of the lead for the first time since Thursday. He is 1 behind Verplank.
Ben Curtis hit his tee shot out of bounds on 12 and made double-bogey to fall 2 behind the co-leaders.

Three-way tie for lead

Justin Rose is missing a ton of fairways and it finally cost him on the 10th hole.
He hooked a second shot around a tree on 10 that went over the green. He failed to get up and down for par, falling back to 14-under-par and into a three-way tie with playing partner Ben Curtis and Scott Verplank.

Rose bunkered his tee shot at the par-3 11th hole, but made a nice up and down for par. Curthis hit his tee shot to 6 feet, but missed the birdie attempt to take the outright lead.

Riley gets to 13-under

Chris Riley is the hottest player on the course, currently 5-under for the day and 13-under for the tournament through 16 holes.

He eagled the par-4 14th and birdied the short par-4 15th hole. He is currently 2 shots behind leader Justin Rose, who is through 8 holes. Riley could be the leader in the clubhouse.

Scott Verplank is currently 4-under through 14 holes and 12-under for the tournament.

Connecticut Connections

Tim Petrovic (U. of Hart.) is the state's best right now, -8 through nine holes.
J.J. Henry (Fairfield) is -6 through eight holes.
Jay Williamson (Trinity) is -6 and done for the tournament.
Jerry Kelly (U. of Hart.) is -2 and done for the tournament.


Seventeen golfers are currently -9 or -10.

This tournament is looking more and more like a 1-on-1 between Justin Rose (-16) and Ben Curtis (-14). Always special when the final pairing is battling each other on Sunday.

Close on Rose

Leader Justin Rose is even through his first two holes, but playing partner Ben Curtis birdied No. 2, closing the distance between the two to 2 shots.

Curtis Has Company

Padraig Harrington has moved to 7 under on the day with three holes remaining, joining Ben Curtis at 13 under for the tournament. Harrington has birdied 2, 3, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 15. He has eight pars and no bogeys on the day.

Retief Goosen, Corey Pavin, Bubba Watson and Scott McCarron are 11 under.

Foreign contingent making moves

Irishman Padraig Harrington is 6-under-par through 15 holes, sitting at 12-under for the tournament, 4 behind Justin Rose, who just teed off.

Retief Goosen, from South Africa, has moved to 11-under for the tournament after four holes.
Vijay Singh, from Fiji, got it to 11-under before bogeying the 14th hole.

But all will likely fall short in Rose's quest for his second straight victory on the PGA Tour.

Golden Goose

Retief Goosen birdied No. 1, and is the only active golfer at 10 under or better.


Right now, Charley Hoffman and John Merrick are in the clubhouse with the best rounds of the day, a pair of 6-under 64s.


Still no change on the day for the top 10 -- none of whom have teed off yet today.

The best score out on the course right now is shared by Vijay Singh, Scott Verplank, Chad Campbell and Ted Purdy, who each sit at -9.

Retief Goosen and Kevin Sutherland, also at minus 9 each, are teeing off next.

Perry finishes with a 73

This won't be a tournament to remember for Kenny Perry. After setting the course record at TPC River Highlands last year at 22-under-par, Perry finished this year at 3-over 283 and right now is tied for last place.
Perry lost 30 poiunds over the past couple of months, but has yet to win on the PGA Tour since last year's Travelers.

Pampling kicks off the final round, Connecticut connections doing well

Good morning from TPC River Highland for the fourth and final round of the travelers.
Skies are overcast with the threat of rain in the air. At 10:30 a.m., traffic was light coming in with just a slight delay in getting to a spot to park.....

Morning highlights....

Rod Pampling kicked off the day as a single and teed off at 8:15. He had a bogey-free round to post his lowest round of the tournament with a 5-under 65. He ends up -4 overall at 68-68-75-65-276.

Other hot golfers this morning have been Charley Hoffman and John Merrick.
Hoffman -6 for the daythrough 12 holes and is -8 overall, eight strokes behind leader Justin Rose.
Merrick is -5 through 13 holes and is -6 overall.

Two players with Connecticut connections, Jerry Kelly and Jay Williamson, have had decent rounds. Williamson is -3 through nine holes and is 7-under overall and Kelly is -1 through 15 holes and is 1-under overall. Kelly attended the University of Hartford, and Williamson attended Trinity, in the 1980s.

The final group, Rose and Ben Curtis, will tee off at 1:55 p.m.