June 24 2012
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
CROMWELL, Conn. — Marc Leishman waited 140 minutes before his victory became official. He teed off two hours and ten minutes before the final group was on the course.
His victory broke a couple bad trends this season. Leishman was ranked 164th on the PGA TOUR in final round scoring average at 72.92. He was also 150th in Strokes Gained-Putting this year. Leishman’s putting rounds of 28-29-30-24 were 11th best this week.
Woulda, coulda: Charley Hoffman could have won this tournament and perhaps should have won it. After playing the last two holes in 3 over, he described his finish as “pathetic.”
Hoffman hooked his drive at 17th in the water to make double bogey, then drove into the rough at the 18th for another bogey. He said he could stomach the bad drive on the 17th, a hole which does not fit his eye, but was not as forgiving for his play at the 18th.
At the start of the round, Hoffman had promised himself a new boat if he finished in the top 10. He finished second but I don’t know if that new boat will provide pleasant memories.
David Finn: The tournament’s most dramatic moment played out before noon. As Hunter Mahan was walking the 18th fairway, his caddie John Wood went into the gallery on a special errand. He went to see a friend, David Finn.
David is a 19-year-old with a neurological condition that prevents him from walking but does not hinder his love for golf. Through the years he has become friends with Mahan, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson – but Sunday was special.
Wood went into the gallery and brought Finn out into the fairway and wheeled him up to the green all while still carrying Mahan’s golf bag. The fans gave the trio a standing ovation, then pulled out tissues to wipe their eyes.
Ace: Rory Sabbatini can be hard on himself while playing golf but he was elated at the 16th hole. He aced the 161-yard par 3 with an 8-iron and in the process won a $27,000 Rolex golf watch. Sabbatini said, “go in the hole” as the ball was midflight and three seconds later, the ball complied.
Bubba bummer: Bubba Watson says he has never played the 299-yard par-4 15th hole well during all his years at the Travelers. This year was no exception. Watson was 1 under on the hole for the week but drove into the water when it mattered most in his round.
He was 13 under for the tournament when he hit a huge slice off the tee into the water hazard. Watson still scrambled to a one-putt four, but the momentum was gone from the round and he scrambled his way home with three more pars.
Unlucky 13: Golfers made their move on the back nine starting at the short par-4 12th and the reachable par-5 13th. Greg Chalmers found nothing nice about the two hole stretch this weekend.
On Saturday he hit two balls out of bounds on the 12th while making an 8. On Sunday he hit his drive at the 13th out of bounds and made a 7. Chalmers finished T37 but lost seven shots on those two holes this weekend.
If he would have parred the holes, Chalmers would have finished T4. Then again, every golfer in the field has his own sad story to tell.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio and inside the ropes this week at the Travelers Championship. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.