Russell Knox of Scotland shot a respectable final round of 2-under 68 to clinch the title at the 2016 Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands course. He almost gave it away in the final round when he bogeyed the par-3 16th, missed a birdie on 17 when his putt stopped 1 inch from the cup and hit his tee shot on 18 into the gallery on the par 4 hole. He scrambled for a par and won by a single stroke. But the real excitement was generated by some of the elder statesmen on the PGA TOUR.
It started when 49 year-old Jerry Kelly took the first round lead with a 6-under round of 64. Kelly is only 3 months from being eligible for the Champion’s Tour and he was not considered a contender this year. Kelly has played in Hartford for the last 19 years but the best finish was a tie for fourth. He stumbled a bit in the second round with an even-par 70 and was starting to feel his age. “I am not going to the practice range,” said Kelly. “I am going home, watching a movie a bit and see if these old bones can last and work two more days.” It turned out to be a good move for Kelly.
The young guys were making a move also. Daniel Berger was voted rookie of the year in 2015 but missed three cuts in 2016. Berger shot rounds of 66, 67, and a blistering round of 8-under par on Saturday that put him in the driver’s seat. But it was one of the old guys that set a record for the ages.
Jim Furyk, who, who at the age of 46 is only four years away from qualifying for the Champion’s Tour, stole the show on Sunday. Furyk, a 17 time winner on the tour shot a 59 three years ago, but on Sunday he was able to set a new record by shooting a 12-under par 58. Jim Scored an eagle on the third hole and birdied seven holes in a row. And Furyk just missed birdies on three other holes. Furyk said, “There are a lot of rounds by other great players that have never reached 58.”
What about Jerry Kelly? He finished with a 64 and missed tying Knox by just one stroke. It is great to see some of the grizzled veterans on the PGA TOUR still have some great golf left in them. It’s enough to make me and all the other golfing granddads rejoice. WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?