Harman leads Watson, DeLaet at Travelers

By Associated PressJune 27, 2015, 10:10 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. - Brian Harman birdied the 18th hole for a 5-under 65 on Saturday and a one-stroke lead over fellow Georgia left-hander Bubba Watson and Canadian Graham DeLaet in the Travelers Championship.

Looking for his second PGA Tour victory, Harman had a bogey-free round to take a 14-under 196 total into the final round at TPC River Highlands.

Harman hit a 149-yard wedge to 4 feet on the par-4 18th. He sank the putt after Watson, who led by two strokes after the each of the first two rounds, missed a 17-footer.

''Bubba's a lot of fun to play golf with,'' Harman said. ''He was a little before me at Georgia, so I always looked up to him, was always really proud of the way he was doing and we were always rooting for him at Georgia.''

This is the second 54-hole lead for Harman, who won the 2014 John Deere Classic from the front on the final day.

Watson shot a 68 in a light rain after opening with a tournament-best 62 on Thursday and adding a 67 in the second round.

''I just couldn't get my clubs right,'' he said. ''I thought it would bounce and it didn't bounce. I thought one would not bounce and it bounced.''

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He needed a bit of luck Saturday after his tee shot on the par-4 15th hole went left and into the woods. He got a fortuitous bounce high off a tree trunk and the ball dropped back over the gallery and into a fairway bunker. He was able to save par from there.

''It hit the tree and everybody roared,'' he said. ''I had to ask the camera guy, and he said it was in the bunker.''

DeLaet, playing on wife Ruby's birthday, had five birdies and grabbed a share of the lead with an eagle on the 15th, putting his drive within 6 feet of the pin.

He had a chance to move to 14 under, but left an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th just short.

DeLaet was in a three-way tie for first place with Watson entering the final round two years ago before finishing third. He has never won on the PGA Tour, and had back surgery for a pinched nerve in 2011, a problem that he says still bothers him.

''The last couple months I've been moving really well and feeling a lot better,'' He said. ''My golf game is coming around too, which is nice.''

Brandt Snedeker, Paul Casey and Zach Johnson were 11 under. Snedeker had a 63 to match the best round of the day, and Casey and Johnson shot 64.

Snedeker's round began with a par before he reeled off three straight birdies and then chipped in from a green-side bunker on the par-3 eighth.

He finished before the rain picked up with three more birdies on the final six holes. He almost holed out on the par-4 17th, hitting his second shot across the course's signature lake where it rolled back within a foot.

''It was absolutely perfect,'' he said. ''It came off exactly how I was looking and almost went in. That's a tough hole, so to steal one there gave me some good thoughts coming into tomorrow.''

He finished a stroke ahead of Chris Stroud, who shot a 68. Seven players were tied for eighth, including former Stanford star Patrick Rodgers.

Rodgers, who was in the first pair of the day after just making the cut Friday, also shot 63 with a career-best round that included seven birdies Saturday including five on the back nine, and two in a row to finish.

''As much as I don't like making the cut on the number, I really like playing the first golf,'' he said. ''The greens were perfect. It was really, really great conditions for scoring this morning.''

Rodgers, who won 11 tournaments at Stanford to tie Tiger Woods' school record, played his first Tour event here as an amateur in 2012, then made his professional debut at the Travelers a year ago.

''There's really not too many venues where I show up and I feel like I know what I'm doing,'' he said. ''So, it's really nice to be back here.''

Sergio Garcia also was in that group at 9 under after shooting a 66. He had a chance to go lower, but put a tee shot in the water at 13 and ended up making 7 on the par-5 hole.

With a storm moving in to Connecticut, officials said Sunday's round will be played in threesomes, going off the first and 10th tees beginning at 11:30 a.m.

''I've never played particularly well in the rain,'' Harman said. "But I try to look at today and we got a break. The weather was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.''

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Watch: Gary Player tires people out with sit-ups

By Grill Room TeamJune 24, 2018, 11:33 pm

Well all know Gary Player is a fitness nut, and at 82 years young he is still in phenomenal shape.

That's why it was incredible to see two mere mortals like us try to keep up with him in a sit-up competition at the BMW International Open.

Watch the video below.

The guy in blue makes the smart decision and bows out about halfway through. But give the other guy an "A" for effort, he stuck with Player for about 60 sit-ups, and then the nine-time major champion just starts taunting him.

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Japan teen Hataoka rolls to NW Ark. win

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 11:07 pm

ROGERS, Ark. - Japanese teenager Nasa Hataoka ran away with the NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA title

The 19-year-old Hataoka won by six strokes, closing with an 8-under 63 at Pinnacle Country Club for a tournament-record 21-under 192 total. She broke the mark of 18 under set last year by So Yeon Ryu.

Hataoka won twice late last year on the Japan LPGA and has finished in the top 10 in five of her last six U.S. LPGA starts, including a playof loss last month in the Kingsmill Championship.

Hataoka began the round tied with Minjee Lee for the lead.

Austin Ernst shot a 65 to finish second.

Lee and third-ranked Lexi Thompson topped the group at 13 under.

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Tour investigating DeChambeau's use of compass

By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 10:09 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Bryson DeChambeau’s reliance on science to craft his play on the course is well known, but he took things to a new level this week at the Travelers Championship when television cameras caught him wielding a compass while looking at his yardage book during the third round.

According to DeChambeau, it’s old news. He’s been using a compass regularly to aid in his preparation for nearly two years, dating back to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October 2016.

“I’m figuring out the true pin locations,” DeChambeau said. “The pin locations are just a little bit off every once in a while, and so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot. And that’s it.”

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

But social media took notice this weekend, as did PGA Tour officials. DeChambeau explained that he was approached on the range Saturday and informed that the Tour plans to launch an investigation into whether or not the device is allowable in competition, with a decision expected in the next week.

It’s not the first time the 24-year-old has gone head-to-head with Tour brass, having also had a brief run with side-saddled putting earlier in his career.

“They said, ‘Hey, we just want to let you know that we’re investigating the device and seeing if it’s allowable,’” DeChambeau said. “I understand. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.”

DeChambeau won earlier this month at the Memorial Tournament, and the Tour’s ruling would not have any retroactive impact on his results earlier this year. Playing alongside tournament winner Bubba Watson in the final round at TPC River Highlands, DeChambeau shot a final-round 68 to finish in a tie for ninth.

“It’s a compass. It’s been used for a long, long time. Sailors use it,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just funny that people take notice when I start putting and playing well.”

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Bubba fires 63 to win his third Travelers title

By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 9:52 pm

Bubba Watson fired a final-round 63 to storm from six back and steal the Travelers Championship. Here’s how Bubba came from behind once again at TPC River Highlands.

Leaderboard: Bubba Watson (-17), Stewart Cink (-14), Beau Hossler (-14), J.B. Holmes (-14), Paul Casey (-14)

What it means: This is Watson’s 12th PGA Tour win, his third of the season, and his third Travelers title. Watson picked up his first Tour victory at this event in 2010 – when he also came from six back – and won again in 2015 in a playoff victory over – guess who – Casey. Thinking he might need a round of 60 to scare the leader, Watson made eight birdies, the last of which came on the 72nd hole, giving him the outright lead by one. A short while later, Casey would bogey the 16th and 17th to end the drama and allow Bubba to breathe easy. With the win, Watson becomes the only Tour player to win three times this season. He moves to third in the FedExCup points race, behind two-time winners Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson.

Round of the day: Cink’s round was a stroke better, but Bubba earns this title for winning the title. The left-hander made the turn in 2-under 33 and then ripped off five birdies on his back nine to take the clubhouse lead, which he wouldn’t relinquish.

Best of the rest: Cink looked as though he was going to record the second sub-60 round at the Travelers in the last three years. The 2009 champion golfer of the year played his first 10 holes in 7 under par on the par-70 layout. Cink added three more birdies but also added two bogeys to settle for 8-under 62, tying the round of the week. The 45-year-old has finished T-4 and T-2 in his last two starts.

Biggest disappointment: Casey (2-over 72) began the day up four and couldn’t close. Even par on his round through 15 holes, he missed a 4-footer for par on 16 and found the water off the tee at 17, ending his chances. The Englishman, who ended a nine-year Tour winless drought earlier this season at the Valspar, is now 1 for 4 with a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

Shot of the day: Watson’s wedge from 77 yards at the 72nd hole, setting up his eighth and final birdie of the day.

Quote of the day: “That’s the best shot you ever hit.” – caddie Ted Scott to Bubba Watson on his approach at 18