Streelman’s birdie blitz secures Travelers win

Kevin Streelman birdied the last seven holes to win the Travelers Championship by a stroke from Sergio Garcia and K.J.Choi, shooting his second straight 6-under 64 to finish at 15-under.

Streelman broke the PGA Tour record for consecutive closing birdies by a winner set by Mike Souchak in the 1956 St. Paul Open. He matched the tournament record with a 7-under 28 on the final nine.

Aaron Baddeley Aaron Baddeley continued his recent return to form with a T4 place (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

“I had 10 one-putts in a row,” Streelman said. “That’s something I’ve definitely never done before.”

Aaron Baddeley was fourth at 13-under after a closing 69.

Baddeley started the final day one shot off the 54 hole leader Ryan Moore and was searching for his fourth victory on the PGA Tour having last won in 2011 at the Northern Trust Open.

In recent times Baddeley has had his share of troubles with just six top-10 finishes in 64 starts beginning with the 2012 season.

In 2014, he’s had just one top-20 finish (T18 at Northern Trust), but came to TPC River Highlands on somewhat of a roll after making the cut in his last four starts, including a tied 23rd at last week’s US Open.

“For me, it was close and I just didn’t quite hit some good shots on that back side there,” said Baddeley on Sunday. “But I was happy overall with the week. You know, I played very, very good, so just take a lot of confidence.”

Streelman was 1-over for the day before starting the birdie run on the 12th hole. The streak reached five with a 37-foot putt at the 16th, and he capped it by hitting a wedge to 9 feet and rolling in another putt at the 18th.

“I made a great putt on nine (and) had tough up-and-downs on 10 and 11 (for par),” said Streelman who had only registered one other top-10 finish this season – at the ISPS HandaWorld Cup of Golf back in November – and had missed the cut in his last four events, dating back to the Players Championship.

“I started flushing it and made a bunch of putts. It was just a dream-come-true back nine. When you’re in the zone like that, when athletes talk about being in the zone, everything is really slow, and it’s really clear and concise, and it’s very vivid.”

The victory is Streelman’s second on Tour, following his win at the Tampa Bay Championship last year.

Streelman, 35, is a true tour journeyman having played on mini-tours for half a dozen years before making the tour. His win on Sunday collected Streelman US$1.116 million.

Marc Leishman had another solid tournament finishing in a tie for 11th to be the next best Aussie. Stuart Appleby and Jason Day recored a top-20 finish sharing 18th position with Matt Jones the next best Aussie in a tie for 46th.

Oliver Goss in his first tournament as a professional missed the cut along with Greg Chalmers, Scott Gardiner and Bronson La’Cassie.