Sunday's roundup: Watson wins Travelers in playoff
Cromwell, Conn. — Bubba Watson is hard to beat in a playoff.
The long-driving lefty made an 8-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole Sunday to outlast Paul Casey for his second Travelers Championship victory.
Watson improved to 5-1 in overtime.
Casey overcame a three-stroke deficit with five to play, catching Watson at 16-under 264 in light rain at TPC River Highlands.
But the 37-year-old Englishman, playing the tournament for the first time, lost his chance at the title while playing the par-4 18th for the third time when his third shot from a greenside bunker flew over the green and landed on the cart path.
Watson hit his 160-yard approach just to the right of the hole to set up his winning putt.
"I hung on, and that's what you have to do sometimes to win," Watson said.
Watson, who also needed extra holes to win the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in November at the start of the season and won the Travelers in 2010 in a three-way playoff for his first win on the PGA Tour.
"It's just about staying calm," he said. "That's what you have to do, you just breathe and walk slower, take some deep breaths and focus on the fact that no matter what you still come in second place."
Watson had a chance to win in regulation. But the two-time Masters champion bogeyed the 17th, while Casey closed with three birdies on the final five holes, sandwiched around a bogey on 15.
Casey watched in the scoring trailer with 9-month-old son Lex on his lap as Watson made a 3 1 / 2-foot par putt to force the playoff.
Watson finished with a 67, and Casey shot 65.
"There are always ifs and buts and could haves," Casey said. "But the goal was to give myself a chance to win, and I did that."
This was the sixth time since 2004 this tournament has gone to overtime.
Brian Harman, who had a one-stroke lead after 54 holes, had a 69 to finish a stroke out of the playoff. After 39 straight holes without a bogey, he had back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 9 and 10 to fall two strokes behind Watson. His birdies on the final two holes were not enough to catch Casey and Watson.
Brian Stuard of Jackson shot a 71 to finish tied for the 25th.
But the finish assured the 28-year-old from Georgia a spot in the British Open, along with Canadian Graham DeLaet, who finished two shots back, Carl Pettersson who finished fifth at 13 under, and Luke Donald, who tied for seventh at 11 under. Sixth-place finisher Zach Johnson already had an exemption into the field.
"I've been thinking about that tournament for a long time and really trying to look at a way to get in there," Harman said. "This one burns a little bit, but that definitely helps the sting."
The Travelers was the first of three PGA Tour events where finishers not already exempt can get into St. Andrew's. There also are four spots available at The Greenbrier Classic and one at the John Deere Classic.
Watson became the sixth multiple winner of this tournament, joining Billy Casper (1963, 1965, 1968, 1973), Arnold Palmer (1956, 1960), Paul Azinger (1987, 1989), Phil Mickelson (2001, 2002), Peter Jacobsen (1984, 2003) and Stewart Cink (1997, 2008).
Rain forced a late start Sunday, and the players went off in threesomes from two tees. But the wet weather also created scoring opportunities, with players taking advantage of the soft greens to shoot for the pins.
Watson started strong with birdies on his first two holes, chiding a fan on the second hole who had suggested he go under a tree with a 4-iron. Watson used a wedge that he hit to 6 feet.
He seemed to lock up the championship on the 13th, where he sank a 39-foot putt for eagle, his longest made putt of the tournament.
His approach at 14 ended up 13-feet right of the pin, but his birdie putt ended up on the front lip of the cup.
"I was hoping nobody else would birdie, but Paul Casey decided he wanted to birdie some holes to make it interesting," Watson said.
Casey began the day tied for fourth, but moved up quickly. His second shot at the 431-yard third hole bounced once from 126 yards out and went straight into the hole for an eagle. He also made a 64-footer for birdie on the par-3 eighth hole.
He made a 6-foot birdie putt on 16, and a 15-footer on 17 to stay in contention. Watson lost his lead after hitting his approach on 17 to the right of the hole behind two bunkers.
Both made par on the first playoff hole. But on the second, Watson's tee shot when down the middle, and Casey found bunkers on his first two shots.
"It does remind me of 2010, where coming down the stretch I had to hit some good shots and I didn't," Watson said. "I wish it was a lot easier, but a victory is a victory."
Watson led after the first two-rounds, but was a stroke back of Harman after Saturday. He becomes the fifth golfer to win this tournament since 2000 after leading or being tied for the lead going into the second round.
He also moved closer to his career goal.
"My whole goal in my career was to get 10 wins," he said. "I need two more wins."
U.S. Senior Open
Jeff Maggert won the U.S. Senior Open for his second major victory on the Champions Tour this year.
Maggert shot a 5-under 65 at sun-drenched Del Paso Country Club, edging defending champion Colin Montgomerie by two strokes. Maggert made six birdies and one bogey to finish at 10-under 270.
Montgomerie closed with a 66. Grant Waite and Bernhard Langer tied for third at 7 under. Waite had a 67, and Langer, who shared the lead with Maggert after three rounds, shot a 68.
The victory moves Maggert into an elite class on the Champions Tour. Maggert (two), Montgomerie (three) and Langer (three) have combined to win the last eight majors.
Tom Watson missed his chance to carve his place as the oldest winner of a senior major at age 65. He started one off the lead but was never a factor, shooting a 69 to tie for seventh at 5 under.
Na Yeon Choi eagled the par-4 16th hole from the fairway to take the lead and won the NW Arkansas Championship by two strokes for her ninth LPGA Tour title.
Choi closed with a 2-under 69 to finish at 15-under 198 at Pinnacle Country Club.
Choi's 8-iron from 142 yards on the 16th one-hopped into the hole to give her a one-shot lead over Stacy Lewis, the defending champion and local favorite. The South Korean player followed with another 8-iron to a foot on the par-3 17th and closed with a par.
Spain's Pablo Larrazabal won the BMW International Open for the second time, closing with a bogey-free 6-under 66 for a one-stroke victory.
Larrazabal finished at 17-under 271 at Munich Eichenried. He also won the event in 2011.
Sweden's Henrik Stenson finished second. He shot a 65.
Rob Oppenheim won the Air Capital Classic for his first Web.com Tour title, closing with a 6-under 66 for a one-stroke victory over Andy Winings.
The 35-year-old Oppenheim finished at 13-under 267 at Crestview Country Club. Making his 129th tour start, Oppenheim earned $108,000 to jump from 70th to 13th on the money list with $146,227.
Winings bogeyed the final hole for a 71.
Sweden's Dani Holmqvist won the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass for her first Symetra Tour title.
The former University of California player closed with a 2-under 70 for a one-stroke victory over Canada's Samantha Richdale. Holmqvist finished at 10-under 206 and earned $18,750 to jump from 38th to 13th on the money list with $27,272. The final top 10 will earn 2016 LPGA Tour cards.
Richdale birdied the final hole for a 68. Canada's Brooke Henderson was third at 8 under after a 67.