Leishman sat in the clubhouse for a couple of hours, wishing on the one hand,
knowing on the other. He had, after all, shot 62 in the final round of the Travelers Championship and had the clubhouse lead a 14 under par. But
he was certain that someone, anyone on the leaderboard would go at least one
better before the day was out.
One by one, the
contenders dropped from the leaderboard, and at the end of the day Leishman’s
total was good enough for his first PGA Tour victory.
"I said to my
caddie on the range this morning that we would probably have to get to 15 under
to have a chance," Leishman said after the long wait. "When we finished at 14
(under), I was pretty confident it wouldn't be (enough). It's really a funny
Not so funny to
Charlie Hoffman, who had gotten to 16 under with five holes to play and had a
two-shot lead on Leishman, three ahead of assorted others. But Hoffman, who has
one PGA Tour victory, hit his tee shot in the water at the par-4 17th and made
double-bogey. And he followed that with a bogey at the home hole to fall back
to 13 under, one back of Leishman.
Leishman, a 29-year-old
Australian, finished 72 holes at 266 on the par-70 TPC River Highlands course
just outside Hartford, Conn. Although the Travelers was Leishman's first PGA
Tour victory, he is no stranger to winning. He has won four times worldwide,
including three wins in Australia. And he has a victory on the Nationwide Tour.
But to win on the
big Tour, it took a big day. Leishman began Sunday's final round tied for 20th
at 6 under. He went out in 5-under 30, including four birdies in a five-hole
stretch, beginning at the par-4 second.
back-to-back birdies at the par-5 13th and par-4 14th but didn't make birdie at
the drivable par-4 15th. A birdie at the 17th capped off his 8-under round and
started the long wait.
A number of players
had chances to catch Leishman but all came up short. Former champion and
Masters winner Bubba Watson finished one shot back but only made one birdie on
the final nine, that at the reachable 13th.
Tim Clark was
another shot back at 12 under but failed to birdie the 13th or the 15th and
missed a short par putt at the 17th. And if Brian Davis had managed to make a
couple of short putts that he missed coming home, he'd have his first PGA Tour
victory. Instead, he made bogey at the par-5 13th and another at the 10th to
finish two back of Leishman.