After the pressure of the U.S. Open, most of the top raked the PGA Tour took a week off. But the field that showed up at the 2012 Travelers Championship provided a finish worthy of a Sunday at Augusta, with Australian Marc Leishman firing a final-round 62 to finish at 14-under to take the title by one shot over Charley Hoffman and 2010 Champion Bubba Watson.
The TPC River Highlands course in Cromwell, Conn., enhanced to its reputation as the “Cradle of Champions,” with Leishman becoming the fifth player in seven years to break through with their first Tour win at TPC River Highlands.
Hoffman held the lead at 16-under through 70 holes, but finished double bogey, bogey to open the door for the late finishers. The final group of Brain Davis and Roland Thatcher had opportunities to win in the closing holes, with Davis needing a birdie on the final hole to win. But Davis left his short approach in a greenside bunker and when he failed to hole out, Leishman had his victory.
Posting a win in only his second season on the Tour, Leishman became the latest young Australian to impress at the highest level.
“I really didn’t think that I had a chance when I finished,” noted a grinning Leishman. “I went out in 5-under and told my caddy that we probably needed to do that again to have a shot. When we didn’t, I didn’t think my score would stand up. But it did, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m in shock, really … It’s a funny game, this.”
On this Sunday, the nine players who finished within three shots of the winning score could only shake their heads and say, “Amen, brother.”