Weekly Tour Recap: 2016 Travelers Championship

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Russell Knox Grabs Second Win Of The Year At The Travelers Championship

Russell Knox finished with a final round 2-under 67 en route to his one shot victory on Sunday at the Travelers Championship, held at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.  Knox fired off all four rounds under par and in the 60s, and finished the weekend at 14-under par, one shot ahead of local fan favorite, Jerry Kelly.  Knox has played mediocre golf as of late, and hadn’t had a top-10 finish since the RBC Heritage in April.  His consistent play this weekend ended that streak, and he was able to break through for his second Tour victory.

Knox entered the final round on Sunday in second place, trailing 54-hole leader Daniel Berger by three strokes.  While Berger was able to convert one of his other 54-hole leads earlier this season, a final round 4-over 74 extinguished his hopes of a second win this year for the second-year Tour member.  Knox capitalized on Berger’s poor Sunday play, while also fending off a surging Jerry Kelly.  Knox made his first birdie of the day at the par-4 3rd hole, but gave a stroke back with a bogey at the 4th.  The par-5 6th gave Knox his second birdie of the day, which was his final for the front nine.  Knox finished his outward half pars, putting him at 1-under for the round with a steady 34.

The back nine started in much the same way that the front nine finished – with three consistent pars.  Knox then poured in back-to-back birdies on the par-5 13th and the par-4 14th.  At this point, Berger had made four straight bogeys, and on five of the first six holes on the back nine, playing his way out of contention.  Tour veteran Jerry Kelly on the other hand, had poured in an eagle at the 14th en route to a three-under back nine, and the clubhouse lead at 13-under.  Knox was two strokes ahead of Kelly, but gave the crowd a bit of a scare when he was unable to get up and down from the rough at the par-3 16th, making a bogey and giving Kelly a glimmer of hope.  At the 18th, Knox’s approach shot found the green side bunker, and was forced to make a clutch sand save, or enter a playoff with Kelly.  Knox’s bunker shot left him a twelve footer for par, which in the moment, probably seemed like a thirty footer for Knox, with the tournament hanging in the balance.  Knox showed he had ice in his veins, and put the ball in the bottom of the cup sealing a one shot victory.

The win for Knox is his second win both this season and in his career on the PGA Tour, and his fourth top-10 of the year.  His first victory came earlier this year in China at the WGC-HSBC Champions event.   Not only is a victory always sweet on Tour, but Knox is also making a strong case to European Tour Captain Darren Clarke for a captain’s pick.

Up next on Tour is the John Deere Classic, as well as the return of golf to the Olympics in Rio.  This is the first time golf will be featured as an Olympic event since 1904.

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Russell Knox’s Winning What’s In The Bag

Driver: TaylorMade M2 – 10.5°  (Aldila Tour Blue 65TX)

Fairway Wood: Callaway Big Bertha – 16° (Aldila Tour Blue 85TX)

Cleveland Launcher FL – 19° (Miyazaki Kusala Black 83X)

Hybrids: Cleveland Launcher DST – 20.5°(Aldila VS Proto Hybrid 95X)

Cleveland Mashie – 23° (Aldila VS Proto Hybrid 95X)

Irons: Cleveland Z 545 – 5-iron (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100)

Srixon Z 745 – 6 – 9 (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100)

Wedges: Cleveland RTX 588 2.0 Custom – 46° (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100);  54°, 60° (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400)

Putter: SeeMore FGP Mini Giant

Ball: Srixon Z Star

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Furyk Goes Low…Like REALLY Low

Jim Furyk almost stole the show from Russell Knox at the Travelers Championship this weekend shooting the best round ever.  And no, this isn’t the hyperbolic “best round ever.”  We are talking literally the best round OF ALL TIME on Tour.  Last week, Web.com player Stephan Jager shot a record 12-under 58 at the Ellie Mae Classic, blowing the minds of golfers everywhere.  While a 58 anywhere is absolutely absurd, some might have thought “well yeah, but that could never be done on the Big Show.” WRONG.

Jim Furyk shot an record low 12-under 58 at TPC River Highlands during the Travelers Championship.  The golf world knew that Furyk had something special going when he went on a tear to start his round.  After an opening par, Furyk played the next three holes birdie-eagle-birdie.  After a par at the 5th, Furyk made birdies the next four holes to close out the front nine with an unheard of 7-under 27.  It was at that moment people started talking 59.  Furyk continued his birdie streak with three more to open the back nine, bringing his streak to seven holes.  Furyk finished the round with one final birdie on the 16th, finishing his final round with a 12-under par 58, the first time a 58 has ever been shot on Tour.  While I have zero doubt that this is a record that will stand for a LONG time, Furyk’s performance Thursday and Saturday kept him out of the Winner’s circle.  Furyk finished the tournament at 11-under par, good for a T-5 finish.  That leaves the real question of the weekend: Would you rather be Furyk with a record 58, or Knox with the victory?

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Tommy O'Connell

Contributing Tour Editor
Tommy is California-born and currently lives and works in Chicago. When not traveling the United States and beyond for work, Tom can often be found spending too much time at the golf course or surfing the web to stay up to speed on everything golf, hockey, college basketball, and football.

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