Reuters - Mon, 28 Jun 03:00:00 2010
American Bubba Watson recorded his first US PGA Tour victory at the Travelers Championship, dropping a three-foot par putt on the second play-off hole to defeate Scott Verplank and Corey Pavin.
The win was Watson's first from 122 starts and his comeback from six strokes behind the largest on the US PGA Tour this season - a statistic that was helped by third-round leader Justin Rose collapsing to a final round 75 after taking a three-shot lead into the final day.
"To get into a playoff was amazing," said Watson, who birdied the 72nd hole for a final round 66.
"If someone would have told me that I would shoot four-under today I would have thought that might get me in the top five. To get in the pla-yoff and somehow make that par putt was amazing."
Watson and Verplank birdied the 18th, the first playoff hole, to see off fellow American Pavin who hit his approach into a greenside bunker and then failed to hole out.
At the second extra hole, the par-three 16th, neither Watson nor Verplank were on target, the former leaving himself with a more than 40-foot birdie putt, the latter missing the green completely on the left.
Verplank failed to get up-and-down and Watson made his par putt to wrap up the victory.
"I didn't feel nervous on the front nine," Watson said. "But I was nervous down the stretch. When I took that par putt, I couldn't feel my arms."
Having had a chance to avoid a playoff with a birdie at 16, Watson's drive on the 17th found a fairway bunker and his second shot water, leaving him with a double-bogey.
Watson recovered with a monster drive on the last hole, however, to set up a birdie putt and a tense wait with Verplank and Pavin as overnight leader Rose and playing partner Ben Curtis finished their rounds.
Pavin, who also shot a 66 to sneak into the playoff, rued the approach shot that unravelled his title bid.
"I kind of popped up a three-wood and left myself in a pretty precarious spot, but all in all it was a really good week."
Englishman Rose, whose three-stroke lead going into Sunday gave him high hopes of a second Tour victory in a month, finished in a tie for ninth after his 75.
One-over at the turn, he fell apart with three bogeys and a double-bogey on the back nine.
"It's hard to play golf when you feel like you are going to miss every putt from two feet," Rose said. "I was just that uncomfortable on the greens all day."Reuters