Bubba Watson shot a final-round 7-under par 63 to overcome what grew to be a seven-shot deficit early on Sunday to win his third PGA Tour event of 2018 and his third Travelers Championship of his career. 54-hole leader Paul Casey stumbled to a 2-over par 72 to finish in a tie for second.
Starting the day six shots back of Casey, Bubba saw his six-shot deficit grow to seven when Casey made an opening birdie, but from there on out, Watson played the course in 7-under par while Casey played the rest of the way in 3-over.
Watson made eight birdies against one bogey, capped off by a clutch wedge from 71 yards on the 72nd hole that left him inside of three feet for birdie.
Shortly after Watson made his birdie putt to reach 17-under par, Casey made back-to-back bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes to fall from his 16-under perch to 14-under par where he would eventually tie for second place alongside Stewart Cink, Beau Hossler and JB Holmes.
“I think it was 71 yards straight downwind, so you had to fly it over the bunker and get it to check somehow,” Watson said of his clinching approach. “It’s one of those where it could have easily went short in the bunker or over the green, just because you guessed wrong on how it’s going to come out. The lie was kind of tight down there, so (I tried to) open the 63-degree up to try to cut it a little bit to add spin to it. For it to come off perfect like that, I knew as soon as I hit it, you could tell the distance was right.
“Teddy (Scott, Watson’s caddie) put his arm around me, like, ‘That was an amazing shot,'” Watson said after the round. “He’s seen a lot of shots, he’s been out here for many years. So for him to realize it, and other players to text me and realize it, it was special.”
Third win this season.
Third win @TravelersChamp.
His Sunday 63 gives him his 12th PGA TOUR title!
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 24, 2018
The win was Watson’s 12th of his career, but he won’t have much down time to celebrate. Watson and his family will travel this week to the Greenbrier where he will tee it up next week. From there, he goes over to Scotland for the Open Championship, which will kick off a four-week run that includes the third major of the year, the Canadian Open, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship.