Streelman birdies last 7 to win at Travelers


The Sports Network

Cromwell, CT ( - Kevin Streelman birdied the final seven holes on Sunday to rally and win the Travelers Championship.

Streelman closed with his second straight 6-under 64 to end at 15-under-par 265. He became the first player in PGA Tour history to birdie the final seven holes to win an event.

"It's probably my favorite nine holes on the PGA Tour. But you can't plan for something like that to happen. It just kind of falls into place," Streelman said. "I had 10 one-putts in a row. That's something I've definitely never done before."

Sergio Garcia and K.J. Choi both closed with 67s to end one back at minus-14 at the TPC River Highlands. Aaron Baddeley shot 1-under 69 on Sunday to take fourth at 13-under 267.

Third-round leader Ryan Moore struggled to a 1-over 71 and dropped into a share of fifth at 12-under 268. He was joined there by Brendan Steele, who closed with a 66.

Streelman, who earned his first tour win last year in Tampa Bay, stumbled to a bogey on the second and another on the seventh to fall to minus-7. He got one stroke back with a 10-foot birdie putt on the ninth.

After pars on 10 and 11, Streelman caught fire. He birdied the 12th from eight feet out and followed with a 5-foot birdie effort on the par-5 13th.

Streelman poured in a 21-foot birdie try at 14 and made it four in a row as his 12-foot birdie effort at 15 found the bottom of the cup. His tee ball at the par-3 16th stopped 37 feet from the hole, but he ran that putt in for birdie to get within one of the lead.

At the 17th, Streelman stuffed his approach to three feet and he kicked that in for a share of the lead at minus-14. At the last, he dropped his second shot inside 10 feet and converted that putt for a closing birdie.

When nobody in the last three groups could catch him, the title was Streelman's.

"I didn't have too many expectations coming here," admitted Streelman, who had missed his last four cuts. "I knew when that putt fell on 16 that something kind of special was happening."

Garcia and Choi were in the penultimate group. Garcia opened with birdies on one and three. He later birdied the seventh, but tripped to a bogey on No. 9 and made the turn at minus-13.

The Spaniard traded a bogey for a birdie from the 10th. After five pars in a row, Garcia rolled in an 11-foot birdie chance on No. 17 to get to 14-under. At the last, Garcia left himself 29 feet for birdie and he was unable to convert that to force a playoff.

"At the end of the day, he played really, really well. I feel like I played quite nicely and it just wasn't my time," Garcia said.

Choi faltered to a bogey on the third. He converted back-to-back birdie chances at six and seven, and again at 12 and 13. That gave Choi the lead at minus-14, but he closed there with five consecutive pars to end his round.

NOTES: Streelman collected $1.116 million for the victory ... Mike Souchak birdied six in a row to win the 1956 St. Paul Open, and that had been the best birdie streak to win a tournament ... Moore was the sixth straight 54-hole leader that failed to hold on to win this title ... The PGA Tour heads to Maryland next week for the Quicken Loans National, where Bill Haas won last year. Tiger Woods will return to action for the first time since he had back surgery three months ago.

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