June 24, 2018 / 10:11 PM / 10 months ago

Golf: Watson overhauls faltering Casey to win Travelers title

(Reuters) - Bubba Watson stormed back from six strokes behind in the final round to overhaul Englishman Paul Casey and win the Travelers Championship by three strokes in Cromwell, Connecticut on Sunday.

Jun 24, 2018; Cromwell, CT, USA; Bubba Watson reacts after his birdie putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Watson carded a seven-under-par 63, capping a dominant performance with a three-foot birdie at the final hole at TPC River Highlands after almost sinking his wedge approach shot.

The American finished at 17-under 263 to become the first three-times winner on the PGA Tour this year.

“It’s been an amazing ride, my whole career, but this year has been outstanding,” Watson told reporters after securing his 12th PGA Tour title.

He previously won in February at Riviera in Los Angeles, also for the third time, and in March at the World Golf Championships-Match Play in Austin, Texas.

Casey started the day with a four-shot cushion over his closest rival, American Russell Henley, but a birdie at the first hole was the Englishman’s only one the entire day as his swing deserted him.

He carded 72 to tie for second at 14-under with Americans J.B. Holmes (67), Stewart Cink (62) and Beau Hossler (66). Henley finished a further shot back in a tie for sixth.

Watson took a while to reel in Casey, finally doing so with a 10-foot birdie at the 15th hole.

“That’s when I think I tied him at 16-under, so that’s when I really started thinking, OK, we can win this thing,” said Watson, who also beat Casey in the same event in 2015 via a playoff.

Sunday’s performance all but ensures Watson a spot on the United States team for the Ryder Cup against Europe in Paris in September. He failed to make the victorious 2016 team.

“I didn’t think it was possible to get 10 wins. Then I get 10 wins and now I’ve got two more,” he said.

“Now I just need one more in Augusta and that would be great.”Casey described his day as “terribly frustrating” after posting his eighth career runner-up finish on the PGA Tour, to go with two victories.

He hit some poor drives, not least at the par-five 13th, which leaked right into a hazard, but his putter saved him for most of the day, until the 16th, where his missed a four-footer.

“I fought my golf swing all day, as you could see coming down the last couple of holes,” he said.

“You’ve got to give credit to Bubba but I’ll go away and analyze this and see what we can do better in future.”

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Ken Ferris/Peter Rutherford

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