Travelers Coverage presented by The TriState PGA.
(Bubba Shot the Jukebox, Mark Chestnut)
It wasn’t Jordan Spieth, Brian Harmon, Rory McIllroy, or even Paul Casey. It was Bubba Watson that was lurking in the weeds nearly all week that would surge ahead on Sunday with a 63 to earn himself his third victory of the season and 12th of his career. Watson would finish 17-under, 3 shots clear of the field. (Sorry about the reference, all the older readers will get it!)
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 24, 2018
The final round leaderboard looked like this….
Bubba Watson 70-63-67-63—263 (-17)
Stewart Cink 68-68-68-62—266 (-14)
Beau Hossler 65-67-68-66—266 (-14)
Paul Casey 65-67-62-72—266 (-14)
J.B. Holmes 66-68-65-67—266 (-14)
Looking at the scores above, it is clear that the course was set up for scoring today. The only one that did not take advantage of it was Paul Casey. For Casey, it was his eighth runner up finish in his career, though this one had to hurt a bit. Leading by four strokes after 54 holes, all Casey had to do was shoot a round of two-under par on a course that could be had, instead he shot the only over-par round of all the top-37 finishers.
Stewart Cink had the best round of the day to finish tied for 2nd.
As for the 39-year-old Watson, it should have been no surprise he played well here. TPC River Highlands is a course he has won twice on, and in the 44 rounds he has played here, four of the rounds have been 63 or better and 25 have been of 67 or better.
With three wins at this event, Watson is only one shy of Billy Casper who has won four times. The win gave Watson the honor of being the first player on the PGA TOUR with 3 victories this season.
Jordan Spieth would struggle yet again with the putter, which led to an ugly second round which took him out of contention. The third round score of one-over par 71 ended any chances he had of winning the tournament. Justin Thomas would struggle again this week with two rough rounds of his own.
Zach Johnson was leading after two rounds, but shot one-over par in his third round which left him needing something big for day. That would end up not being the case and he would finish 9-under, eight strokes off the lead.
Some Big Names Looking Ahead
Bubba Watson is playing extremely well right now, and someone who will figure in to the FedEx Cup race where he sits third right now. He is a two-time Masters winner but looking ahead to the next Major, he likely will not be a contender. That is a prediction based solely on past history. In nine attempts, he has missed the cut four times and has never placed higher than 23rd.
Here are several players are in need of either a break or a tune up of sorts. Look for Spieth, McIllroy, and Thomas to either take a short break or use the next few weeks on tour to work on areas which have held them back in recent events.
Brooks Koepka had a great showing considering what he went through last week to win. He will be a contender in not only the FedEx Cup points race, but also the remaining majors.