Up until now Bubba Watson had to be one the biggest surprises in not having won a PGA Tour event. One of the longer hitters the game has ever seen and possessing a deft touch around and on the greens, Watson had been pegged as an up and comer since day one. Today the "potential" moniker was removed when he captured the Travelers Championship, besting Scott Verplank on the 2nd playoff hole.
Watson, Verplank and Ryder Cup skipper Corey Pavin began the playoff on the 18th hole. Pavin dumped his 2nd from 219 into the front bunker. Verplank stiffed it to 8 ft., but Bubba nearly holed his 2nd for an eagle to gas up the always lively Connecticut crowd. After Pavin's 25 yd. sand shot came admirably close, Verplank calmly eased his putt in to match Bubba's tap-in. After depositing Pavin in the clubhouse, Watson and Verplank played the par three 16th. Verplank missed the green long and Watson left himself a tough two-putt from long distance. Watson cozied his effort close while Verplank's putt from off the green struck an invisible something and scooted directly left, leaving him an 8 footer, not unlike the one he just holed on 18. Not to be for Scott though as he slid his putt just left and Bubba sank a three footer for the win. An emotional Watson, acknowledging his father's cancer struggle, hugged his wife and created one of the more emotional scenes on Tour in some time. Final Full Field Scores.
Assisting Watson in his quest was 3rd round leader Justin Rose, whose grease fire +5, 75 collapse was necessary to put the playoff into motion. Six of the top seven finishers had all four rounds in the sixties. Quite a contrast coming off a US Open. The playoff featured Watson and Pavin, a study in contrast with the Tour's longest and shortest hitters playing 72 holes and ending in a tie at -14. One has to wonder as well about the opportunity presented to American players by playing with this year's Ryder Cup captain. Perhaps Verplank and Watson increased their standing in the captain's pick area.
Up next for the big boys is the AT&T National at Aronimink Golf Club, Newton Square, PA. Tiger Woods defends.