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Shane Bacon

Bubba Watson bombs it to the top of rips and shanks

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The Travelers Championship lands a week after the second major championship of the year, but it still had some guys trying to prove something. One man had never won on tour, the other was left out of the U.S. Open by the USGA and the final one is the captain of the American's upcoming Ryder Cup team. Who lagged their way to rips and yipped their way to shanks?

Rips

Bubba Watson: He has always been a household name for how long he can smack the ball (this week he averaged(!) 321 yards per drive, leading the field), but he had never been able to get all the pieces together to win. That changed on the second playoff hole on Sunday, when Watson made a par, eventually tearing up in the arms of his wife. It is moments like that exchange that helps us mortal golfers understand just how hard these guys work to win, and how much of a relief it must be when it happens.

Scott Verplank: I'm sure on that first playoff hole Verplank was having flashbacks of the Craig Parry eagle to beat him at Doral in '04, but Verplank was able to move on to the second playoff hole, and give himself a chance to win his first event since 2007.

Corey Pavin: The third member of the Travelers playoff was none other than the upcoming Ryder Cup captain, and, well, he gets to pick a few guys to make the team. Expect Pavin to give a little extra thought to a guy like Bubba after playing against him this week, and maybe, just maybe, give some extra thought to himself. Could you imagine pairing those two together? Pavin led the field in driving accuracy, Bubba with distance, and both can get hot with the putter.

Ricky Barnes: This guy's consistency is becoming something to be talked about. Another top 5 for Barnes, who now has three top 7s in his last four events, and has found himself in the top 25 eight times this season.

Shanks

Justin Rose: He couldn't do anything wrong the first three days, and on Sunday couldn't do anything right. In the lead at the Travelers, Rose had a great chance to show the USGA just how wrong it was for not allowing him into the U.S. Open, but a final-round 75 when everyone else was going low showed why PGA Tour events aren't 54 holes. Every good player has a few events that they look back and kick themselves over, and this one will be near the top of Rose's list. His Sunday 75 tied for the second-worst score of the day from anyone at TPC River Highlands.

John Daly: A week ago, Daly played in his first Nationwide Tour event since 1991, and had hoped that the success there would translate to this week's Travelers. Not so much for Daly, who missed another cut and is currently 208th in FedEx Cup points.

Shaun Micheel: After Friday and Saturday rounds of 65, it looked like Micheel might continue the good play that came out of Pebble Beach, but a final-round 71, when everyone else in the field was blitzing this course, dropped him down 21 spots.

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