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Streelman scorches back nine to win 2014 Travelers Championship

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At the end of the day on Saturday, Ryan Moore, fresh off a bogey-free day, stood atop the leaderboard at the 2014 Travelers' Championship—but it was Kevin Streelman who had the day's best round, shooting a 6-under 64 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell. But on Sunday, the front nine wasn't so good to Streelman, who entered the final round tied for seventh place, four strokes off the pace.

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After bogeying twice on the front nine—the second and seventh holes, both par fours, prospects were not bright for the former Duke star. Even after recovering with a birdie on the par four ninth hole, Streelman who finished the front nine one over par.

But the back nine was a different story. Streelman got into “the zone” and went on an historic run, the likes of which has never before been seen on the PGA Tour. The 35-year-old Winfield, IL, native, who didn't survive the cut at last year's Travelers, parred the 10th and 11th holes (pars 4 and 3 respectively) before closing out the tournament with seven straight birdies—breaking the all-time Tour record for closing birdies. (The previous record was six set by Mike Souchak at the St. Paul Open in 1956). It was Streelman's second straight 6-under 64, and was just enough to to sneak past Sergio Garcia and K.J. Choi, who tied for second at 266, one stroke off the pace. Aaron Baddeley was fourth at 13 under after shooting a one-under 69 on Sunday.

“It's probably my favorite nine holes on the PGA Tour,” said an ecstatic Streelman after the match. “But you can't plan for something like that to happen. It just kind of falls into place.”

Streelman's torrid finished helped him match the tournament record with a seven-under 28 on the final nine.

“I had 10 one-putts in a row,” the No. 36-ranked Streelman said. “That's something I've definitely never done before.” Nor have many other human beings.

Streelman, who is ranked No. 27 in the FedEx Cup standings, won the Tampa Bay Championship last season, but had missed the cut in his last four starts on Tour—and had just one Top-10 finish (a tie for third at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January) to date this year.

“I didn't have too many expectations coming here,” admitted Streelman, who pocketed a cool $1.12 million for the victory. “I knew when that [birdie] putt fell on 16 that something kind of special was happening.”

“At the end of the day [Streelman] played really, really well," said Garcia, who has recorded six Top-10 finishes on the Tour this season and also won the Qatar Masters on the European Tour in January.

This was the sixth straight year at the Travelers the player who held the lead after 54 holes lead was unable to seal the deal. Moore, Saturday's leader, closed out with a one-over 71 to tie for fifth place at 12 under par. Ken Duke, last year's Traveler's champ, shot a two-under 68 and finished this year's tournament four under par (276) to tie for 46th place. Patrick Rodgers, the former Stanford star who was making his PGA Tour debut, also finished the tournament at four-under.

Miguel Angel Carballo of Argentina, who became the second player to shoot three eagles in a single round this season on Saturday, finished the tourney tied for 18th place at 271, nine strokes under par. Crowd favorite and two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson who won this tournament in 2010, finished the tournament at six-under 274, as did former Masters and two-time PGA champion Vijay Singh.

Fairfield native and 2006 Travelers champ J.J. Henry missed the cut, as did 2007 Travelers champ Hunter Mahan.

Leaderboard - Final

R1

R2

R3

R4

Total

Thru

1

Kevin Streelman

-1

-2

-6

-6

-15

F

T2

K.J. Choi

-5

-5

-1

-3

-14

F

T2

Sergio Garcia

-5

-1

-5

-3

-14

F

4

Aaron Baddeley

-3

-4

-5

-1

-13

F

T5

Ryan Moore

-7

-2

-4

+1

-12

F

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