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Monday, August 8, 2016

The Limerick Summary: 2016 Travelers Championship

Winner: Russell Knox

Around the wider world of golf: Wesley Bryan got his "Battlefield Promotion" by winning the Digital Ally Open on the Tour; Anthony Wall beat Alex Noren 1up to win the Aberdeen Asset Management Paul Lawrie Match Play on the ET; Joe Durant won the 3M Championship on the Champions Tour; Charlie Bull won the Syncrude Oil Country Championship on the Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada; Bo-Mee Lee won the Meiji Cup on the JLPGA (bangkokbobby has details); and Eun Jeong Seong beat Virginia Elena Carta 1up to win the US Women's Amateur.

Russell Knox with Travelers trophy

I realize that Jim Furyk's going to get the bulk of attention today. Therefore I've done a bonus Limerick Summary for him that I'll put up later today. In this post I'm going to give Russell his due.

After Jim Furyk ripped some pages out of the history books early Sunday, it seemed like everybody and their brother thought TPC River Highlands was theirs for the taking. A large number of players went out and shot scores in the mid- and low-60s.

However, none of them were third-round leaders. Daniel Berger shocked everybody when he stumbled out of the gate, shooting a 4-over 74 and never even contending for the win. Likewise, his pursuers Russell Henley and Tyrone Van Aswegen shot 73 and 71, respectively. Even players like Brooks Koepka, who began the day within shooting distance of the lead, could do no better than a 69.

That's just not going to cut it when players are inspired by Mr. 58. Justin Thomas, for example, snagged a piece of third place with a 62. But ultimately it was Jerry Kelly (currently Mr. 49 but just months from being Mr. 50 and joining the Champions Tour) fired a 64 to put himself in second place at -13.

It was up to Russell Knox to try and get the win. Russell walked off the 14th green at -15, headed into the tough final stretch. Things didn't look good:
  • A bogey at the 16th, the tough par-3, left him a single stroke ahead.
  • A birdie putt on the 17th stopped an inch from the hole.
  • Then his tee shot into the crowd on the 18th left him a downhill sidehill lie in the rough, his second left him a long bunker shot and his bunker shot came up short.
But that left him a straight putt that he put straight in the hole. The crowd went wild, Jerry went home in second, and Russell's hat went sailing across the green during his celebration.

This win added Russell to the "Two or more wins this season" list -- you'll recall his WGC-China win early in the wraparound season. It vaulted him to fourth in the FedExCup race. And if it doesn't qualify him automatically for the Euro Ryder Cup team, I'm pretty sure he made Darren Clarke's short list for a Captain's Pick. Each of these lists is quite special, don't you agree?

Well, I would remind you that it also adds him to the "Two or more Limerick Summaries this season" list, which is a very distinguished list in its own right:
Russell Knox watched as Kelly went low;
Thirteen-under was not enough, though.
Russell sank crucial putts
While the fans all went nuts…
Then he put on a hat-throwing show!
The photo came from the tournament's daily wrap-up page at

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