Xander Schauffele won the Travelers Championship in dramatic fashion on Sunday after a three-shot swing on the final hole.
Rookie Sahith Theegala was left to rue a disastrous 18th when an unfortunate tee shot left him tied up in a bunker. His first attempt to escape saw the sand move and his ball dribble back towards him, while his bogey putt cruelly rolled around the lips of the hole.
After signing for a double bogey, Schauffele carded a birdie to snatch back the lead and win by two shots. The American finished on 19-under, with Theegala and J.T. Poston – who shot a fine six-under on the final day – tied for second.
“To sit there and watch what happened was a bit of a shock, obviously. I really had to try and focus on the task at hand,” said Schauffele.
Schauffele led Theegala by a shot heading into Sunday’s final round, with his compatriot drawing level on the 15th and then soaring into the lead with an 11-footer for birdie on the 17th. But a bogey-free round soon unravelled on a nightmare 18th.
“I did everything I thought I had to do and it just happened to be everything bad culminated on one hole. I did so much good,” said Theegala.
It brought painful memories flooding back for the 24-year-old, who found the water on the penultimate hole at the Phoenix Open in February to miss out on a play-off – minimum – having led during each of the first three days.
Victory secured Schauffele a cheque for a smidge under $1.5 million (£1.22m).
“It’s actually happy anniversary,” he said. “It’s my one-year anniversary with my wife. So I’m going to go try and get home and see my wife.”
Rory McIlroy, the joint-leader after the first 18 holes, finished in a share of 19th at nine under.
Read the full article here