Harris English outlasts Kramer Hickok to win 8-hole Travelers Championship

Harris English outlasts Kramer Hickok to win 8-hole Travelers Championship

Harris English outlasted Kramer Hickok in an eight-hole playoff to win the Travelers Championship on Sunday at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.

Both golfers birdied the 18th hole in regulation to force the playoff, and then both made seven pars before finally English shot a 16-footer birdie on the eighth extra hole to clinch the title.

English, who had been winless for seven years before finally breaking the drought in January, won for the second time in 15 starts.

Harris carded a 5-under-65 in the final round to end the tournament at 13-under par, but his real test arrived when he made seven pars in the playoff before draining a 16-foot birdie putt for the win.

It was English’s fourth career victory, but it was the most difficult, as he played 26 holes instead of 18, to secure the title.

Harris English and Kramer Hickok

“This is a validation win,’’ English said. “It took me seven years to win this year in Maui, and I think this is a validation of where my game is right now.’’

After carding a 67 in the fourth round to force a playoff, Hickok gave English a tough battle with seven consecutive pars before English shot a 16-foot birdie putt to snatch the title.

“It was just a tremendous day,’’ said Hickok, who was gracious in defeat despite being gutted for being denied his first win. “Kudos to Harris. He battled so hard. There were times I put him in a tough spot, he put me in a tough spot, and he came out on top, and he’s a true champion.’’

The eight-hole playoff is second only to the 11-hole sudden death in the 1949 Motor City Open when Lloyd Mangrum and Cary Middlecoff were named co-winners by mutual agreement because of darkness. Four other tournaments have reached the eighth hole in a playoff.

Bubba Watson, who was in contention on the final day, suddenly lost his momentum and shot the last five holes at 6-over par to drop out of the chase.

Dustin Johnson, who had a chance to reclaim No.1 in the world rankings with a top-five finish, posted 71 to tie for 25th at 6-under par.