Kevin Streelman wins Travelers Championship with late charge
CROMWELL – Kevin Streelman finished the final round of the Travelers Championship with a historic run, posting seven birdies in a row to grab the victory Sunday at TPC River Highlands.
Streelman began the day at 9-under-par and fell to 7-under on the front nine. He was four shots behind leaders K.J. Choi and Sergio Garcia after a birdie on 12, but he surged to the lead on the final six holes.
Streelman, 35, ended his day at 15-under-par 265. Choi was even with Streelman through 17 holes, but he was unable to birdie the 18th hole. Garcia birdied the 17th to drop to 14-under, but he also failed to birdie the 18th.
Garcia and Choi finished at 14-under 266, one shot off the lead. Aaron Baddeley was 13-under 267, ahead of Brendan Steele and Ryan Moore at 268.
Streelman, who attended Duke, won the Tampa Bay Championship last year. His victory ends a run of four consecutive winners who posted their first PGA Tour victory in Cromwell.
“That was unbelievable,” Streelman said. “It just was a lot of fun. I knew someone was going to have to go win that golf tournament. This layout, it’s so much fun to come down the stretch and have 15, and 17 if you hit a good drive, you can make birdie there. But to just put it all together is what I work for, practiced hard for, and it’s been a really fun week.”
Moore, who has twice finished tied for second, was the leader at 13-under-par 197 heading into the final round, but he struggled through the front nine Sunday and faded from the leaders.
Also Sunday, Miguel Angel Carballo shot a 7-under 63, which included three eagles. The Argentinian is the only player to achieve the feat at the Travelers and the 28th player to have three eagles in the same round on the PGA Tour since 1981. Jim Herman accomplished it earlier this season at the Farmers Insurance Open.
“I was pretty relaxed,” Carballo said through an interpreter. “I made a great putt [on the second for birdie] and that kind of got me going. I wasn’t expecting a 63, but some days you have the feeling and some days you don’t. … I played in the afternoon [Saturday] and the wind started blowing and it was hard so I knew I could put up a great score in the morning and the afternoon might change.”
Defending champion Ken Duke shot a 2-under 68 and finished with a four-day score of 4-under 276. Bubba Watson, the 2010 winner, finished 6-under 274 after shooting a 68 Sunday.
New England native Keegan Bradley, who was born in Vermont and grew up in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, also shot a 68 Sunday and finished at 274.
By Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant