CROMWELL, Conn. — Fairmont native William McGirt struggled on the back nine of the Travelers Championship on Sunday, but still managed a final-day, 1-over-par 71 and a 25th place finish that pushed him up four sports on the FedEx Cup list.
McGirt, who began the day at 8 under par after rounds of 67, 69 and 66 on the par-70 TPC River Highlands course, bogeyed No. 1 but had added three birdies and was 10 under par and in a tie for 11th place when he missed a 10-foot birdie on No 12 and then headed to the reachable par 5 No. 13. His second shot on that hole, however, found the water, and McGirt suffered a double-bogey, and then he also bogeyed No. 15, a reachable par 4, to drop back on the leaderboard.
McGirt also flirted with qualifying for the British Open as the top four finishers in the top 12 at the Travelers who are not already eligible for the major qualify for the event.
McGirt won $41,234 to push his earnings to $689,877 on the year, which is 105th on the money list. He earned 40 FedEx Cup points and now has 527 on the year, which puts him in 80th place and in position to make the playoffs for the fifth time in his five years on the tour.
McGirt, who has made 16 of 22 cuts this season, plans to play in this week’s The Greenbrier Classic and next week’s John Deere Classic.
Bubba Watson, who led most of the day, picked up his eighth career win by making a birdie on the second playoff hole to outlast Paul Casey. It was his second win at the Travelers Championship — and leaves him two wins short of a goal he set for himself when he joined the tour.
“I think double- digits, if you have double-digit wins this day and age, I think that’s pretty good,” he said. “Tiger thinks differently than I do, but I just think that 10 wins is a big number.”
The 36-year-old long-hitting lefty won $1.152 million and is now No. 3 on the FedEx Cup list, behind Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker.
Casey overcame a three-stroke deficit with five to play, catching Watson with a 16-under 264 in light rain.
Brian Harman, who had a one-stroke lead after 54 holes, had a 69 to finish a stroke out of the playoff. But the finish assured the 28-year-old from Georgia a spot in the British Open, along with Canadian Graham DeLaet, who finished two shots back, Carl Pettersson a former N.C. State golfer who finished fifth at 13 under, and Luke Donald, who tied for seventh at 11 under. Sixth-place finisher Zach Johnson already was already in the British Open.
“I’ve been thinking about that tournament for a long time and really trying to look at a way to get in there,” Harman said. “This one burns a little bit, but that definitely helps the sting.”