CROMWELL, Conn. — Marc Leishman shot an 8-under 62 on Sunday in the Travelers Championship, then went back to the clubhouse to eat, watch some soccer and wait to see where he would finish.
More than two hours later, after Charley Hoffman blew a two-stroke lead on the final two holes, Leishman was hoisting his first championship trophy on the PGA Tour.
“I think Charley was on the 15th when I turned the golf on,” Leishman said. “I watched that, then just went over and hit some balls and putted for a bit and it turned out well.”
The 28-year-old Australian began the day six strokes behind the leaders, but made eight birdies in a bogey-free round. He finished at 14-under 266.
“I didn’t think it was going to be enough,” he said. “Golf is a funny game, a really funny game.”
Hoffman was 16 under heading to the 17th hole, but pushed his tee shot right and into the water. He made a double-bogey, and bogeyed the 18th after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker.
“When it’s said and done, obviously a bad finish and a bad taste in my mouth, but you learn from it,” he said. “Any time you put yourself in contention, you learn from that.”
Hoffman closed with a 66 to tie for second with Masters champion Bubba Watson, who shot a 65.
Leishman became the fifth player in seven years to break through with their first tour win at River Highlands, joining Fredrik Jacobson last year, Watson in 2010, Hunter Mahan in ’07 and J.J. Henry in ’06.
Leishman’s 62 was the lowest score in a final round by a champion on tour this season.