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DEFINING MOMENTS

REMEMBER THIS

Six writers recall special moments from the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions seasons

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ifferent kinds of things linger in memory for different reasons. There are moments of generosity and history, sustained excellence and breakthrough achievement, joy and loss.

Recent months have seen a bit of it all, a half dozen tableaus distilled here by reporters touched by various defining moments.

Bubba Watson and caddie Ted Scott enjoyed another successful week at the Travelers Championship.

WATSON SHARES HIS SUCCESS AT TRAVELERS

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ied for the Travelers Championship lead, Bubba Watson conferred with caddie Ted Scott on the 72nd tee. “If we’re going to lose the golf tournament, let’s lose it hitting the big dog,” Watson said. He then smashed a 366-yard drive and spun a flag-hugging, 63-degree wedge downwind from a tight lie. “Amazing shot,” said Scott, high-fiving Watson. “It just came out perfect at the right time, and the rest was history,” Watson said. His ensuing birdie culminated a 7-under 63 for his third title in the event—one shy of record-holder Billy Casper. Watson enhanced his reign as the big dog of the Travelers Championship. “This is a special place in my heart because of my first win; my dad [Gerry] getting to see my win before he passed away,” said Watson, winner in 2010 and ’15. Watson was three strokes better in June than Paul Casey, Stewart Cink, J.B. Holmes and Beau Hossler. Third-round leader Casey (72) bogeyed 16 and 17 to end his pursuit. Like in 2010, Watson started the final round six shots 44

PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE 2018/2019, Part 1

T11.Defining Moments.indd 44

from the lead. Six birdies on his last 10 holes raised his tournament career earnings to $4,718,573. The Hartford community has loved and embraced Bubba from the beginning, and that love is reciprocal. After his latest victory, Watson donated $200,000 to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, the tournament’s primary beneficiary. Two years earlier he donated $100,000 to the Bruce Edwards Foundation Benefit Dinner. Edwards, Tom Watson’s longtime caddie, died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2004. Travelers Executive Chairman of the Board Jay Fishman died of ALS in 2016. Travelers Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Bessette said Watson’s gifts and earnings are unmatched in tournament history and compared the tournament’s big dog to former Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz. “Bubba’s like the ‘Big Papi’ of the Travelers,” Bessette said.  Tom Yantz worked 42 years for the Hartford Courant and covered the PGA TOUR’s tournament in Cromwell, Conn., from 1984-2017.

IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES; US PGA TOUR

By Tom Yantz

W W W.P GAT OUR.COM

12/12/2018 09:01

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