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Harris English defeated Kramer Hickok in an almighty tussle at TPC River Highlands, with a birdie at the eighth extra hole securing his second PGA Tour title of the season
Harris English Wins Mammoth Playoff At Travelers Championship
Both English and Hickok displayed short game of the highest order on Sunday, with the pair making seven pars at the first seven playoff holes.
Eventually the par run was broken, with English defeating his fellow countryman with a 15-foot birdie putt at the eighth playoff hole.
The eight-hole battle is the second longest sudden playoff in PGA Tour history, with only the 1949 Motor City Open going further (11 holes).
"This was awesome. The fans were keeping us in this, but hats off to Kramer. What a competitor. We were both grinding. That's what it was all about. We were grinding and trying our hardest.
"It went to seven or eight holes, I don't know how many it went. That was incredible. What an experience, and the fans were awesome."
Before the playoff chaos, it had seemed that Bubba Watson was cruising to a record-equalling fourth Travelers Championship.
Standing at three-under-par on the 14th tee, the two-time Masters champion produced a shocking finish. Three consecutive bogies on the 14th, 15th and 16th were followed by a double-drop at the par-4 17th before, for good measure, he added a final bogey at 18. The six-over stretch saw him fall from the solo lead into an eventual tie for 19th.
With the left-hander out of contention, Marc Leishman stood atop the leaderboard thanks to a final-round 64 that looked certain to earn him a place in a playoff.
That was until the first moment of brilliance from English and Hickok, with both making clutch birdie putts at the last to finish one shot ahead of Australian, Leishman.
There was yet more clutch putting on display when, at the first playoff hole, both would rattle in knee-knockers from six-feet.
We were then treated to a short game masterclass from English on the second. With only half his ball on display in the face of the bunker, the 31-year-old hit a shot that even the most casual golf fan would have been impressed with.
Despite the incredible up-and-down, Hickok had a long-range opportunity for the win. And his putt was tracking before it hit the lip an spun out, ensuring the contest would go on.
The next big opportunity for victory fell to Hickok on the fifth playoff hole, with the American's towering nine-iron approach coming to rest just 10-feet from the hole.
Yet again the putt would shave the edge and the duo would move on to a sixth playoff hole. With routine pars at the next two, the marathon contest eventually concluded with English holing a 15-foot putt for birdie at the eighth playoff hole to secure his fourth PGA Tour title.
The win now moves him to second in the FedEx Cup standings, something that English admits is a goal to win.
"That's the goal all year. I love getting back to the Tour Championship and having a chance to win the FedEx Cup, I mean, that's what it's all about. So I'm pumped. I'm going to take couple weeks off and get ready for the Open. I'm definitely going to celebrate this one."
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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