Russell Knox wins Travelers; Jim Furyk sets record with 58

By Gethin Coolbaugh, The Sports Xchange
Russell Knox wins Travelers; Jim Furyk sets record with 58
Jim Furyk hits a drive. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

CROMWELL, Conn. -- Jim Furyk might have won the battle, but Russell Knox won the war.

Furyk's PGA Tour-record 12-under-par 58 on Sunday morning was the buzz of the golf world, but it was Scotland's Knox who hoisted the Travelers Championship trophy later in the evening.


Knox rolled in a 12-foot par putt to avoid a playoff with hometown hero Jerry Kelly, giving him a one-stroke victory at 14-under-par 266 at TPC River Highlands.

"I dominated (Jim)," Knox said jokingly. "I guarantee you he would trade places very quickly with me."

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Of course, Knox's victory wasn't enough to overshadow Furyk's day. The 46-year-old made an eagle, 10 birdies and seven pars en route to his record-breaking 58.

"There's a lot of rounds by a lot of great players ahead of me that have never reached 58," said Furyk, who was the last of six PGA Tour players to shoot a 59 three years ago.


"To have a little, small place in history is simply a dream."

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Furyk began the day 16 shots off the lead in 70th place at 1 over. His front-nine 27 broke the nine-hole Travelers record by two strokes.

"I'm very happy for him, and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy," Knox said of Furyk. "He's the best."

The previous record at the 6,841-yard TPC River Highlands was set by then-amateur Patrick Cantlay at the 2011 Travelers. Cantlay shot a bogey-free 60 with an eagle and eight birdies.

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Knox is just the third international player to win the Travelers title since 1996 (Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson in 2011, Australia's Marc Leishman in 2012).

The 31-year-old joined Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott as the only two-time winners on the PGA Tour this season.

Knox, the world No. 26, had one previous victory on tour at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in November 2015, becoming the first player from Scotland to win a WGC event.

Kelly, an alumnus of the nearby University of Hartford, took second after a final-round 64.


Although born in Wisconsin, Kelly's collegiate town has fully accepted him as one of its own.

"(Hartford has) absolutely adopted me and treat me and call my name and just make me feel like family and like it's home," Kelly said.

Justin Thomas and Patrick Rodgers (268) tied for third and Furyk (269) headlined a four-way tie for fifth with Robert Garrigus, South Africa's Tyrone Van Aswegen and 54-hole leader Daniel Berger.

Leishman (270), the 36-hole co-leader with Berger, Russell Henley and Van Aswegen, closed with a 66 to tie for ninth with Brooks Koepka.

Knox rolled in back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 to give him the lead for good.

He flirted with disaster on No. 16 when he put his tee shot inches from a water hazard. He couldn't save par but escaped with a bogey after chipping within 10 feet of the cup.

After parring No. 17, Knox put his drive on No. 18 deep in the rough and his second shot in a bunker. His wedge shot left him a 12-foot par putt, which he rolled in to secure the win.

"Golf is such a difficult game, and when you need a par to win a tournament, it's extremely difficult," Knox said.


"Once it started kind of creeping left, I knew it was going in, and what an unbelievable feeling."

Berger opened with five consecutive pars before bogeying No. 6, and the reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year fell apart on the back nine with bogeys on Nos. 10-13.

Bubba Watson, the 2010 and 2015 Travelers champion, closed with a 68 to finish tied for 25th at 273.

Watson and six others in the Travelers field, including Americans Patrick Reed (271) and Matt Kuchar (272), now head to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

"What an honor and a privilege to represent the United States, the country that we love very much," said Watson, who was showered with "USA!" chants from the gallery Sunday.

Hunter Mahan, who claimed his first PGA Tour victory at the 2007 Travelers, shot a 67 to finish tied for 70th at 282.

NOTES: Jim Furyk is the first player in PGA Tour history with two rounds below 60. Furyk also shot a 59 in the third round of the 2013 BMW Championship. ... The Travelers Companies, Inc. donated $58,000 to a charity of Furyk's choice in honor of his 58 on Sunday. ... Russell Knox of Scotland received the $1,188,000 winner's share of the $6.6 million purse and 500 FedExCup points. Knox was projected to rise to fourth in the FedExCup standings. ... The John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., is the next event on the PGA Tour schedule (Aug. 11-14). Defending champion and world No. 3 Jordan Spieth will not participate. The tournament coincides with the Olympic men's golf competition in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, which features six of the top 12 golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking.


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