28 June 2021: Kramer Hickok’s (67) claim to fame may have been caddying for Jordan Spieth ten years ago at the Byron Nelson. Hickok even defeated Spieth in a junior tournament. On Sunday, he had a tryst with destiny. But victory eluded him as Harris English (65) secured the Travelers Championship title on the eighth playoff hole.
The two men birdied the final hole in regulation to push the event into a playoff. They were tied at 13-under 267 ahead of Marc Leishman, who shot a brilliant 64 to claim third.
English made birdie on the eighth hole of sudden death, matching the second longest sudden death playoff on the PGA TOUR. The two men showed exemplary nerves making a steady stream of pars during the playoff, before English settled the duel with a smooth 5-foot putt to clinch the title.
It was a day for the record books. The longest playoff in Travelers Championship history was way back in 1961 and 1962, when it went seven holes. While there are now five instances of an eight hole playoff, including this one, the longest was in the 1949 Motor City Open. Lloyd Mangrum and Cary Middlecoff could not be separated for eleven holes. As darkness fell upon the course, the two men agreed to share the spoils.
English has been on a fine run. He finished in third at the US Open last week, tracking a fourth place finish he achieved at the same event late last year. He shot 65 in the final round to secure his fourth career victory. He earned his way into the playoff with an impressive 28-footer on the 72nd hole for birdie.
A little later Hickok made his birdie from nine feet on the 18th to pave the way for a playoff.
The two played the 18th twice, before twice making the rounds of 17 & 18. Still inseparable they would play the 18th two more times before English produced the first birdie of the playoff to win the title. Hickok had to content himself with a second top-10 of his career following a T8 in the 2018 Bermuda Championship.
Abraham Ancer worked his way into fourth with a final round 65. Kevin Kisner, Brooks Koepka, Hank Lebioda, Brian Harman and Brice Garnett finished in T5 at 10-under 270. Kisner shot the low round of the day, 63.
Beau Hossler, Sepp Straka and Jason Day rounded off the top 10 at 9-under 271.
Bubba Watson started the day in a share of the lead with Hickok. After three birdies on the first nine, he seemed set to challenge for the title as he reached the 14th tee. Inexplicably, Watson bled shots by the bucketful from there. He gave away six shots in the final five holes to end the week in T19 at 7-under.
R1 (6): Talor Gooch (64), Maverick McNealy (65), Henrik Norlander (65), Kevin Stadler (66), Ben An (68), Kevin Kisner (70)
R2 (12): Jason Day (62), Charley Hoffman (63), Ryan Armour (64), Robby Shelton (64), Troy Merritt (65), Ryan Moore (65), Austin Eckroat (66), Russell Henley (66), Austin Cook (67), Tom Lewis (67), Harris English (68), Brendon Todd (69)
R3 (1): Adam Scott (67)
R4 (4): Kevin Kisner (63), Beau Hossler (64), Marc Leishman (64), Guido Migliozzi (67)
*Harris English 67-68-67-65—267 (-13)
Kramer Hickok 63-69-68-67—267 (-13)
Marc Leishman 69-66-69-64—268 (-12)
Abraham Ancer 72-66-66-65—269 (-11)
*won with a birdie on the eighth hole of sudden death
Leading Asian/Australian Scores
Jason Day 69-62-70-70 – 271 (-9, T10)
Adam Scott 69-69-67-67 – 272 (-8, T13)
Lucas Herbert 70-67–67-69 – 273 (-7, T19)
Satoshi Kodaira 63-72-68-73 – 276 (-4, T36)
K.H. Lee 69-64-69-80 – 282 (+2), T73)