Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson captured his maiden PGA Tour victory with a win at the Travelers Championship on Sunday following four stunning rounds of near-flawless golf.
Jacobson, whose bogey at 10 on Sunday was the only blemish on his scorecard all week, fired a four-under par 66 that moved him to a 20-under total of 260, one shot ahead of Americans Ryan Moore and John Rollins.
“It feels unbelievable and it’s a been a long time,” Jacobson said. “I feel I’ve been getting closer and closer, so it’s really nice to pull this one off.”
The 36-year-old Swede, who won three times on the European Tour in 2003 and nowhere since, started the day with a one-shot lead after firing a seven-under 63 on Saturday.
Moore stormed into contention with a blistering start that included five birdies on his first seven holes and he became Jacobson’s biggest threat. The two were tied at 20-under for the tournament after the American carded consecutive birdies at the short par-four 15th and par-three 16th.
However, Moore, playing one group ahead of Jacobson, missed a four-footer for par at the 18th while Jacobson was on the tee.
“That 18th hole is going to sting a little bit,” Moore said. “Just put it in a bad place off the tee and maybe a little too aggressive with my second shot. Honestly, hit a pretty darn good bunker shot, almost made it. Hit my first bad putt of the day. It was just a pretty simple left center putt and I pushed it right.”
Jacobson then got a huge break as his tee shot on the final hole appeared to be headed for a bunker but kicked off a bank and landed in the fairway. He landed his approach to about 13 feet and then two-putted for the win and US$1.08 million.
His bid to become the first player since Lee Trevino in 1974 to play a bogey-free 72 holes and win on the PGA Tour ended when he failed to recover after sending his approach shot at the par-four 10th right of the green.
“I caught a mud ball there on the right side and hit a good strike and you just got to accept those, with a long iron it can take off sideways,” said Jacobson, who got his first win in 187 PGA Tour starts. “So I got challenged but I dealt with it nicely and kept playing well.”
Rollins, who started the final round four shots off the lead, returned a seven-under par 63, including five birdies on the back nine.
“I played good all day and did all I could,” Rollins said. “Today, I stayed in the moment. I kept plugging along and stayed with what I was doing and managed to get in a good round.”
American Michael Thompson finished alone in fourth after a blistering eight-under par 62 that was the day’s lowest round and included nine birdies over his final 15 holes.
Patrick Cantlay, who had a one-shot lead after the second round when the 19-year-old American became the first amateur to card a 60 on the PGA Tour, finished nine shots back of Jacobson following an even-par 70 in the closing round.
“I just learned what it’s like to have a week on the PGA Tour, make the cut and compete with the guys,” Cantlay said. “The fans here were great all week, very supportive, and I thank them.”