By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
CROMWELL, Conn. -- With two holes to play in the Travelers Championship, it looked like Charley Hoffman, leading by as many as three at one point, was breezing toward a third career win.
Then he was reminded how difficult it can be to win on the PGA TOUR.
Hoffman hit his tee shot in the water on the 17th hole, sent his approach shot sailing over the green and made double bogey.
He still had a share of the lead with clubhouse leader Marc Leishman at 14 under, but things went from bad to worse one hole later.
“What I did on 18 was pretty pathetic,” Hoffman said. “Pretty easy drive for me and fanned it out to the right. Pretty poor second shot, pretty poor bunker shot and even worse putt, so when it's said and done obviously a bad finish and bad taste in my mouth.”
Hoffman bogeyed the final hole after hitting into the right rough off the tee, then into a greenside bunker. He failed to get up-and-down to save par, missing a 16-footer to shoot 66 and finish one shot back of eventual winner Marc Leishman in what was an otherwise flawless round.
For the first 16 holes, Hoffman didn’t make a bogey. He went out in 31 and seized control of the tournament with birdies on three of his first four holes on the back nine.
Then came the 17th.
“I don't think 17 sets up visually well for anybody,” Hoffman said. “It's a tough tee shot and I'm not the first person to hit it in that water. I'm not going to be the last person to hit it in the water. I just hit a bad shot.”
Afterward, Hoffman tried to find the silver lining in the dark cloud of a finish.
“Anytime you're in contention you've played good golf,” Hoffman said, trying to find the positive. “I played pretty good golf for 72 holes.”
Well, 70 anyway.