Sunday's golf: Schauffele wins at Travelers after Theegala's double bogey

Associated Press

Cromwell, Conn. — Xander Schauffele won the Travelers Championship with a three-stroke swing on the final hole Sunday, hitting to 3 feet for birdie after rookie Sahith Theegala took two shots to get out of a bunker and made a double bogey in the group ahead.

A stroke ahead entering the day, Schauffele finished with a 2-under 68 at TPC River Highlands to beat Theegala and J.T. Poston by two strokes. The Olympic champion had a 19-under 261 total.

“My mind was telling me to hit a good drive and then use your sand wedge or lob wedge in there and make birdie,” Schauffele said. “To sit there and watch what happened was a bit of a shock, obviously. I really had to try and focus on the task at hand.”

Theegala shot a 67, and Poston had a 64.

Schauffele won for the sixth time on the PGA Tour and the second this season after teaming with Patrick Cantlay to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April.

Theegala was lurking near the top of the leaderboard all day and grabbed a share of the lead on 15, driving the green on the par-4 hole and making a 4-foot birdie putt. He overtook Schauffele with an 11-footer for birdie on 17, pumping his fist.

But the former Pepperdine star hit his tee shot on 18 left and into the front lip of a fairway bunker. He needed two tries to get out the bunker.

“Somehow my body just, I just straight bladed it,” he said. “I had room there. I don’t know how it looked, but I had room there. Just didn’t think I would let myself blade it. But I guess the moment was — and then from there it’s, like, got to try and make 5 now.”

His 12-foot bogey putt lipped out, and he fell to his knees in agony.

“I did everything I thought I had to do and it just happened to be everything bad culminated on one hole,” he said. “I did so much good.”

Theegala was trying to become just the second rookie to win this season, joining Chad Ramey, who won in the Dominican Republic. The 2020 Travelers was his first professional start, but he missed the cut.

Schauffele, meanwhile was consistent, with two birdies and a bogey on the front before mirroring that score on the back.

He had a chance to tie Theegala on the 17th, but missed a 27-footer.

Amateur Michael Thorbjornsen, from nearby Wellesley, Massachusetts, was fourth at 15 under after a 66.

The Stanford star was looking to become the first amateur to win on the tour since Phil Mickelson it in 1991. He shot a 31 on the front nine, including an eagle on No. 6 after putting a 261-yard approach a foot from the hole. He finished with a 66.

“I felt really good and comfortable out there, then near the end had a couple of hiccups, which happens sometimes," said Thorbjornsen, who added that he plans to return to college in the fall. "I don't think I was too nervous, just a couple of miss-executions."

The previous best finish by an amateur at the Connecticut tournament came in 1966, when Tim Grant finished tied for sixth place at the nearby Wethersfield Country Club in what was then known as the Insurance City Open.

Poston, who was the co-leader after shooting a first-round 62, started the day tied for seventh place, nine strokes back. He put up a bogey-free 64, finishing with his sixth birdie of the day.

“I putted well, drove it well, hit my irons good,” he said

Patrick Cantlay began the day just a stroke behind his good friend Schauffele. But last year’s FedEx Cup champion, who had a combined four bogeys in the first three rounds, shot five of them on the front nine on Sunday.

He finished with a 76 and in a tie for 13th at 10 under.

Luke List, who shot a 65 on Sunday to finish at 9-under had the shot of the day, opening his round with 119-yard approach on No. 1 that took a short bounce into the hole for an eagle.

Rory McIlroy, who shot an opening-round 62, also finished at 9 under with a 67 on Sunday. This was his fourth straight tournament for the No. 2-ranked player in the world, who said he won't play again before the Open Championship at St. Andrews next month.

Morgan Hoffmann, who is fighting facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, finished at 2 over in his third and final tournament of the year on a three-event medical exemption. The 32-year-old, who took several years off from the Tour to focus on his health, shot a 71 Sunday, ending his morning with a birdie after hitting his approach at 18 less than 2-feet from the pin.

Hoffman, a New Jersey native now living in Costa Rica, said he’s hoping to get a few sponsor’s exemptions this summer and is cherishing the golf while trying to inspire others by staying healthy.

“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing, cleansing monthly, eating nourishing food and working out hard and keep gaining muscle and in the meantime I’m building a wellness center (in Costa Rica) to help other people do the same,” he said.

LPGA Tour

Bethesda, Md.— In Gee Chun rallied after losing the rest of her once-sizeable lead, overcoming a bogey-filled front nine to win the Women's PGA Championship on Sunday when Lexi Thompson faltered with her putter.

Chun shot a 3-over 75 for the second consecutive day at Congressional, but that was enough to win her third major title by a stroke over Thompson and Minjee Lee. Chun, after leading by six at the tournament's midway point, lost a three-shot advantage in the first three holes of the final round. Thompson was two strokes ahead of her after the front nine, but Thompson's putting problems were just beginning.

The 27-year-old Floridian botched a par putt from a couple feet on No. 14, but a birdie on 15 restored her lead to two. Then she bogeyed the par-5 16th while Chun made birdie, leaving the two players tied with two holes remaining.

Thompson three-putted for bogey on 17, and after an impressive approach from the rough on 18, her birdie putt wasn't hit firmly enough.

Chun's approach on the par-4 18th bounced past the hole and just off the back of the green, but she putted to within about 5 feet and sank her par attempt for the win.

Chun, a 27-year-old from South Korea, led by seven strokes after finishing her 8-under 64 in wet conditions Thursday. The lead was down to five at the end of that day — still equaling the largest 18-hole advantage in the history of women’s majors.

She was six strokes ahead at the halfway point and had a three-shot advantage coming into Sunday. She finished at 5-under 283.

Chun won her first major at the U.S. Women's Open in 2015 and added the Evian Championship in France the following year.

Thompson hasn't won an LPGA Tour event since 2019, and her lone major victory came as a teenager at Mission Hills in the California desert in 2014. She's certainly had chances. She lost a five-stroke lead during the final round of last year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic Club.

This year she was 10 strokes back after the first round before steadily chasing down Chun. Thompson made birdies on Nos. 1 and 3 on Sunday. Chun bogeyed Nos. 2 and 4 to fall out of the lead.

Thompson missed short birdie putts on the eighth and ninth — foreshadowing her problems later in the round — but Chun’s 40 on the front nine left her two back at the turn. Sei Young Kim, who had made it to 6 under at one point, bogeyed 8, 10, 11 and 12 and wasn’t a factor after that.

When Chun made her first birdie of the day at the par-5 11th, Thompson answered with a birdie of her own to remain two shots ahead at 7 under. When Thompson bogeyed 12, so did Chun.

The 16th hole, where Chun had to take an unplayable lie and made double bogey Saturday, was the turning point in her favor in the final round. Thompson was just short and right of the green in two shots but took four from there to make bogey, while Chun rolled in her birdie putt after a long wait.

Lee, who trailed by six at the start of the day, just missed an eagle putt on 16 that could have tied her for the lead. When Thompson birdied 15 and Lee bogeyed 17, the Australian was three behind.

A terrific approach on the final hole gave Lee a short birdie putt, but after making that for a final-round 70, she still needed Thompson to drop two more strokes.

That actually happened, but Lee's birdie and two pars on the final three holes were enough to win.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Bethlehem, Pa.— Padraig Harrington holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the 15th right when the last of his five-shot lead was about to vanish, and he closed with three tough pars for a 1-over 72 to hold off Steve Stricker and win the U.S. Senior Open.

Harrington never lost the lead at Saucon Valley on a day when he made it hard on himself.

Stricker, who started the final round eight shots behind, began making his run with consecutive birdies to finish the front nine, and he closed with two straight birdies for a 65.

That left him one shot behind, and the Irishman needed only pars to win for the first time on the PGA Tour Champions. It wasn’t easy.

Harrington had to two-putt from above the ridge on the 16th, and he trickled it down to a foot. He was well below the ridge from about 50 feet away on the par-3 17th and, after running that by 6 feet, calmly rolled in the par putt.

On the closing hole, he was pin-high but some 35 feet away with a spine running through the line of his putt. He cozied that to 3 feet and rapped it in for the win.

Harrington finished at 10-under 274.

He is the third straight player to win the U.S. Senior Open in his debut, following Jim Furyk last year and Stricker in 2019.