Marc Leishman collected his first U.S. PGA Tour win at the Travelers Championship, where he shot a 8-under-par 62 in the final round and then waited two hours before celebrating his breakthrough title.
Leishman started six shots off the lead yesterday and had eight birdies and no bogies at the TPC River Highlands course in Cromwell, Connecticut. He finished 14-under par and then grabbed a late lunch and watched the Euro 2012 soccer semifinal between Italy and England before focusing on the leaderboard, where he’d hold on for a one-shot victory over Charley Hoffman and Masters Tournament winner Bubba Watson.
“I didn’t want to watch the golf the whole time because I would have been sweating,” said Leishman, who also prepared for a possible playoff before the late challenges fell short.
Hoffman had a two-shot lead before dropping three shots over the final two holes, while Watson missed a chance to gain ground when he hit his tee shot into the water and took a penalty on the 15th hole.
Brian Davis and Roland Thatcher, who started the day tied for the lead, both shot even-par 70 during the final round to tie for fourth at 12 under with Tim Clark and John Rollins.
The 28-year-old Leishman, who in 2009 became the first Australian golfer to receive the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year award, said he saw some similarities between his win and Webb Simpson’s U.S. Open victory eight days ago.
“That’s a good way to have your first win,” Leishman said at a news conference. “Webb showed last week, not that he got it handed to him, but he got finished early. Didn’t probably deal with as much pressure as you would if you were off in one of the last couple groups.”
Leishman received $1.08 million and is the first Australian to win the tournament since Greg Norman in 1995.
Hunter Mahan, playing in the first group of the day, had a career-low 61 to advance to 10-under for the tournament, one shot behind Fredrik Jacobson, Matt Kuchar and Brendon de Jonge. Mahan’s score was one shot shy of the course record.
The tour now moves to Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, for the $6.5 million AT&T National.
Tiger Woods is scheduled to play in the June 28 to July 1 tournament, which benefits his foundation. He’ll then play in the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, from July 5-8 before heading to northwest England for the British Open from July 19-22 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club.