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Watson holds off charging Casey in playoff

Becomes the seventh multiple winner of the Travelers Championship

Bubba Watson made an 8-foot birdie putt on the second hole a playoff Sunday to outlast Paul Casey and win the Travelers Championship for the second time.

Casey overcame a three-stroke deficit with five to play, tying Watson at 16-under 264 in light rain at TPC River Highlands.

But the 37-year-old Englishman, playing the tournament for the first time, lost his chance at the title while playing the par-4 18th for the third time when his third shot from a greenside bunker flew over the green and landed on the cart path.

Watson hit his 160-yard approach just to the right of the hole to set up his winning putt.

Watson had a chance to win in regulation. But the two-time Masters champion bogeyed the 17th, while Casey closed with three birdies on the final five holes, sandwiched around a bogey on 15.

Casey watched in the scoring trailer with 9-month-old son Lex on his lap as Watson made a 3 1/2 -foot par putt to force the playoff. Watson finished with a 67, and Casey shot 65.

“There are always ifs and buts and could haves,” Casey said. “But the goal was to give myself a chance to win, and I did that.”

Watson now has eight PGA Tour titles, also winning a playoff in the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China in November at the start of the season. He won the Travelers in 2010 in a three-way playoff for his first win on the PGA Tour and is 5-1 in playoffs for this career.

“It’s just about staying calm,” he said. “That’s what you have to do, you just breathe and walk slower, take some deep breaths and focus on the fact that no matter what you still come in second place.”

This was the sixth time since 2004 the tournament has been decided in a playoff.

Brian Harman, who had a one-stroke lead after 54 holes, had a 69 to finish a stroke out of the playoff. After 39 straight holes without a bogey, he had back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 9 and 10 to fall two shots behind Watson. His birdies on the final two holes were not enough to catch Casey and Watson.

But the finish assured the 28-year-old from Georgia a spot in The Open Championship, along with Canadian Graham DeLaet, who finished two shots back, Carl Pettersson who finished fifth at 13 under, and Luke Donald, who tied for seventh at 11 under. 

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