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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Late Leishman surge takes Travelers

MARC LEISHMAN shot a fabulous closing 62 to claim his first PGA Tour win at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut after Charley Hoffman threw away the chance of victory.

Leishman edged Masters champion Bubba Watson and Hoffman, by one shot after a bogey-free round saw him move to 14 under par at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.

Victory was Hoffman's for the taking, but he finished six-five on the two closing par fours and let a two-stroke lead slip away.

Overnight leader Brian Davis could only manage a level-par 70, leaving the Englishman in a four-way tie for third and still awaiting his first win on the American tour. Dubliner Pádraig Harrington finished with a round of 69 to leave him tied for 11th on 10 under par.

Surprisingly, Leishman's superb round was not the best of the day as US Ryder Cup player Hunter Mahan birdied eight of the last 11 holes for a nine-under 61.

Leishman began the day six off the lead at six under but built up momentum with birdies at the second and fourth before moving firmly into contention with three in a row from the sixth.

He made back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 and another at 17 to put the pressure on those still out on the course.

He played down his chances at the time, saying: "I probably think I'm one or two short and that's the attitude I'm going to have, so I'm not going to be disappointed when or if someone comes in at 15 (under par)."

Watson could find no answer, making just one birdie on the back nine, but Hoffman was seven under for his round with two holes to play and looking set for victory. But he found water off the 17th tee and then failed to find the required par for a play-off on the 18th.

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