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Posted June 28, 2021 in "Watts" In The Bag by Tom Brassell
By The Associated Press
CROMWELL, Conn. — Harris English birdied the eighth hole of sudden death to win the Travelers Championship on Sunday, beating Kramer Hickok after both birdied the final hole of regulation to force the playoff.
It matched the second-longest sudden-death playoff in PGA TOUR history.
English shot a 5-under 65 to finish the fourth round at 13 under, then made a 5-foot putt on the seventh trip down the 18th hole of the day. Hickok had missed a 36-foot birdie putt and finished the playoff with eight consecutive pars.
The TOUR record for a sudden death playoff is 11 holes in the 1949 Motor City Open, when Lloyd Mangrum and Cary Middlecoff were declared co-winners by mutual agreement due to darkness; four other events have reached an eighth playoff hole.
The eight-hole playoff was a record for the tournament, which went seven holes in 1961 (Ted Kroll) and again in ’62 (Bob Goalby), when it was known as the Insurance City Open.
It was the second win this year and the fourth career victory for English, who finished third at the U.S. Open last week — and fourth in the pandemic-delayed U.S. Open in September. He won $1,368,000 and 500 FedExCup points, moving into second in the standings.
English sank a 28-footer on the 72nd hole to emerge from a three-way tie and finish at 13 under. Then he headed to the range to stay warm in case Hickock, who was minus-12 with two holes to play, could catch him.
The 29-year-old Texan, who had never won on the PGA TOUR, couldn’t convert a 39-foot birdie putt on the 17th, but he knocked in a nine-footer for birdie on No. 18 to match English.
They played 18 again — twice — and parred it again — twice. On to No. 17, then 18, then 17, then 18, then 18 again: All pars. Hickok lipped out on two long birdie putts that would have won it; on the sixth playoff hole, English missed a seven-foot birdie putt to win.
On the final trip down the 438-yard par 4, Hickok put his second shot 28 feet from the pin and two-putted. English landed his approach 16 feet away and made birdie.
Hickok has never won on the PGA TOUR. The second-place finish was his best ever, topping a tie for eighth in the 2018 Bermuda Championship that was his only other time in the top 10.
Check out “Watts” in Harris English’s bag below.
Driver: Ping G400 (9 @9.2 degrees) – Shaft: Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XD 70
3-wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees) – Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7 X
Irons: Ping G410 Crossover (20 @21 degrees), Ping Blueprint (4-9)
Shafts: Fujikura Atmos Black Hybrid 9 X (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-9)
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align
Putter: Ping Scottsdale Hohum
Ball: Titleist Pro V1