CROMWELL, June 23 – Keegan Bradley had been chasing Chez Reavie all afternoon in the final round of the Travelers Championship Sunday at the TPC-River Highlands.
Reavie began the day with a six-shot lead – the largest lead after three days (54 holes) in tournament history. Reavie didn’t make it easy shooting even par on the first nine holes of the round.
Bradley picked up just one stroke on the front nine. But the Woodstock, Vermont native began to surge on the back nine with four birdies on the first six holes with a putt on 15 cutting Reavie’s lead to one stroke.
And it got loud.
“The crowd was so behind me and so loud,” Bradley said. “(It) felt like a Ryder Cup atmosphere for me. Man, I dreamt of this ever since I’ve come here when I was 10 years old. To come to this tournament every year (and to) put myself in this position and having this chance (to win), it lived up to the hype. It was awesome.”
But Reavie didn’t flinch. Leading by one with two holes to go, he got just his second birdie of the day at the 17th hole and it came at the right time. Bradley hit his tee shot into the bunker and sent his second shot over the green and double bogeyed the hole.
Reavie’s one stroke swelled to four and he was on his way to his second PGA Tour victory. Reavie shot a 17-under-par 263 for a four-stroke win over Bradley and Zack Sucher and the 2019 Travelers Championship title. It was Reavie’s second career win and the first since he was a rookie on the PGA Tour in 2008 at the RBC Canadian Open.
“It means everything (to me),” Reavie said. “I knew Keegan was going to come out firing today and ready to go. I’ve played a lot of golf with him. He’s a fantastic player. I just was fortunate enough to stay patient and make that big putt on 17 to give myself a little cushion on 18.”
Reavie’s consistent play didn’t leave much of an opening for anyone else outside of Bradley. “I love this golf course,” said Reavie, who has played each year for the past five years in Cromwell. “You have to play smart of you will make a bogey in a heartbeat.”
The fans were loud in their support of Bradley, who they adopted as their hometown favorite. When two fans got too loud on the tenth hole, Bradley stepped in and told them to be quiet.
“They were screaming at me,” Reavie said. “That happens. You get it every week. People are just having fun. I don’t think they necessarily understand how important it is to us. Keegan was great. He told them to stop it and back down when I was trying to putt. It wasn’t malicious by any means.”
Bradley relished the energy. “I was just having so much fun,” he said. “The crowds, that was so great. It felt like a Ryder Cup for me. You just dream of that as a kid. It was just incredible. I was having the time of my life.”
Bradley played on the Ryder Cup team in 2012 and 2014.
Reavie took home the championship prize of $1.2 million while Bradley and Zach Sucher each took home $633,600 for finishing second.
For Sucher, it was a huge financial relief for his family. His last event before surgery on his ankle and leg in 2017 was here at the Travelers Championship. He didn’t hit a golf ball for 13 months.
“We have seven months with no income at all,” Sucher said. “During that time we had to take out some credit cards and get some interest-free credit cards.
“It’s huge. It’s amazing. It is life changing, to be honest,” Sucher said. “It changes the rest of our year. We’ve got to change up plans and have lots of work to figure out what else we’re going to do now.”
Sucher had five birdies on the back nine and saved par on the 18th hole with a nice putt that inspired a brief cheer from Sucher. It was his best-ever finish on a PGA Tour event.
“The back nine was unbelievable,” he said. “The whole thing was fun with the huge crowds. It was quite an experience.”
Vaughn Taylor finished fourth with a fourth round 65. Taylor had birdies on the final holes of the tournament.
“I was playing well all day,” Taylor said. “I just could really get it going. I luckily hit one in close on 14 and it actually hit the pin and it was a tap-in (for me). It kind of got the ball rolling and got me going in the right direction.”
At the tournament’s Closing Ceremonies, tournament officials said they had raised more than $2 million for charities here in Connecticut.