Playing out of the final twosome, overnight leader and World No. 48 Chez Reavie steadied a 1-under-par 35-34=69 in Sunday’s final round at TPC River Highlands for a 72-hole tally of 17-under 263, good for a four-shot win over runners-up Zack Sucher (67) and Keegan Bradley (67).
The 37-year-old, a pre-tourney 50/1 outright, claims his second PGA TOUR victory in 278 events (275 pro), first since the 2008 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey GC in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, about seven-and-a-half hours to the west-northwest.
That maiden triumph, as the 54-hole leader by one, came during his rookie campaign 250 starts, 10 years, 10 months and 27 days ago. Talk about perseverance.
The Scottsdale resident began Sunday’s finale with a six-shot lead over both eventual runners-ups and carded two birdies against one bogey, losing 0.719 strokes around-the-green but gaining 1.759 on approach.
Vermont native, playing competitor (and crowd favorite) Bradley made a game of it, pulling within one shot after his sixth birdie of the round at the par-4 15th, but finished par, double bogey-6 (3-putt from 17’5”), par, while Reavie ended with par, birdie (from 14’4”), par for the final margin.
Q: Have you ever had any road matches like that before? Clearly you were the No. 2 choice.
A: Yeah, Chez, we love you, but we love Keegan more.
Q: How difficult was it? There was a spot at 10 where you backed off.
A: Yeah, they were screaming at me…Keegan was great. He told them to stop it and back down when I was trying to putt. It wasn’t anything malicious. It was Sunday and just another test I had to go through.
Sponsor invite Sucher, who arrived off a missed cut last week on the formerly named Web.com (now Korn Ferry) Tour, co-led after R1 and was the R2 leader by two. He went out in 2-over 37 and was virtually out of it, but stormed home in 5-under 30, highlighted by a hat-trick of red at 15-17 and a pitch-in par-saver at the last from 17’7” away to secure his career-best finish in 37 events and first top 10 (T20, 2015 Barracuda).
Vaughn Taylor wrapped with five straight circles for an inward 29 and 65 to notch a season-best 4th, five adrift, while course-horse Paul Casey (65), Kevin Tway (67) and first-timer Joaquin Niemann (66) shared 5th place, six back, Niemann matching a career-best T5 at the 2018 Greenbrier.
Final Leaderboard (pre-tourney odds outright):
1- (-17, 263) Chez Reavie (50/1)
2- (-13, 267) Zack Sucher (350/1)
2- (-13, 267) Keegan Bradley (80/1)
4- (-12, 268) Vaughn Taylor (200/1)
5- (-11, 269) Paul Casey (18/1)
5- (-11, 269) Joaquin Niemann (100/1)
5- (-11, 269) Kevin Tway (100/1)
Reavie’s Position by Round:
R1: T7 (1 back)
R2: T2 (2 back)
R3: 1 (by 6)
How Reavie Won the Tournament:
Ranked 1st (or T1) in: SG: Approach; SG: Tee-to-Green; Total Bogeys; No Double Bogeys or Worse; Birdie to Bogey Ratio; Par-4 Scoring; All-Around
Ranked 2nd(or T2) in: Total Putts; Scrambling
Note: See “Strokes Gained Leaders Stats” at the bottom, along with his full stats.
Least Important Stat(s): Driving Distance (ranked 56th); Par-5 Scoring (T31)
Reavie, a Kansas native like last week’s U.S. Open winner Gary Woodland, checked in off a major-best T3 at said U.S. Open (as a pre-tourney 300/1 outright), his first top 10 in 18 major appearances.
At Pebble Beach, the Arizona State product played the third round out of the third-to-last twosome with 4-time major winner Rory McIlroy and bested him 68 versus 70.
In the final round, he played out of the penultimate twosome with 4-time major winner and 2-time defender Brooks Koepka, and held his own (71 against Koepka’s 68).
This week, Reavie proved that that was no fluke. By the way, the T3 at the U.S. Open was his third straight top 15 in majors. In his last two starts, Reavie has gained 23.016 strokes tee-to-green: 11.460 this week, and 11.556 last week.
Looking ahead, he undoubtedly has given hope to all in-form players that are laboring through lengthy winless droughts of their own.
Reavie’s TOUR Career:
Starts: 278 (275 pro)
Cuts Made: 173 (62.2%)
Top 25s: 65 (23.3%)
Top 10s: 22 (7.9%)
Top 3s: 7 (2.5%)
Runners-up: 3 (1.0%)
Wins: 2 (0.72%)
Note: Since his last (first) win in 2008, Reavie had recorded just five top-3 finishes in 250 events but four of those had come in the last two seasons.
Wins by Season:
2019: 1 (Travelers)
2015: 0 (Major Medical Extension)
2014: 0 (wrist surgery)
2008: 1 (RBC Canadian Open); rookie season
Cuts Made: 17
Top 25s: 8
Top 10s: 5
Top 3s: 3
Season Form (last 10 starts): 1-3-MC-14-18-18-28-56-MC-MC
Note: Reavie’s previous best was a pair of T3s (U.S. Open; Sony Open), and also finished T4 at the WM Phoenix Open.
Season Form (first 11 starts): 65-MC-38-4-28-3-26-35-7-73-33
Reavie at the Travelers:
Cuts Made: 7
Top 25s: 3
Top 10s: 1
Travelers Form: 1-MC-43-47-25-43-11-68-MC
More Reavie Q&A:
Q: How did last week and having some momentum from that and some other recent starts play into this week?
A: Yeah, you know, going and being in the second-to-last group at the U.S. Open last week, that definitely gave me a lot of confidence coming into this week, and in particular, today. I really played well on Sunday at the U.S. Open, and tried to treat this the same as I did then.
Q: Would you have expected to win sooner? I know there were a couple of years with injuries?
A: Not really, golf is tough, right? There are a lot of great players on the PGA TOUR. To win out here is an honor and something that shouldn’t be overlooked or under appreciated.
Reavie on Sunday:
After kicking off with 65-66 and week-tying-low 63, he began with a six-shot lead over Sucher and Bradley, and found 11 (of 14) fairways and 15 greens in regulation.
Reavie squared a lone bogey-4 at hole 8, offset by two circles at 4 and 17, both from between 14 and 22 feet. He recorded 1.769 SG: Tee-to-Green and -0.698 SG: Putting with 32 total putts, wrapping the week with 20 birdies against just three bogeys.
OUT: even-par 35 (1 birdie, 1 bogey); Reavie leads by 5 over Casey (in with 65), Tway and Bradley.
IN: 1-under 34 (1 birdie, 0 bogeys); Reavie WINS by 4 (over Sucher, Bradley)
By the Numbers:
23: Jason Kokrak entered the week T1 in Consecutive Cuts Made with 23. He missed the cut by 11 shots on 9-over 149 (75-74). Hideki Matsuyama (idle) and first-timer Tommy Fleetwood (finished T13) co-lead this stat now with 23 in a row.
8: There are now just eight events (six weeks) remaining in the regular season, including one major (The Open), one WGC (FedEx St. Jude), and two opposite-field events.
62: Paul Casey was T5 after 36 holes last year and shot a week-tying-low 62 out of the third-to-last twosome in R3 to take a 4-shot lead after 54 holes. This year, he was T6 after 36 holes and shot 71 out of the third-to-last twosome in R3 to fall to T20, 10 back of Reavie. The Phoenix resident rebounded with 65 to back-door his third straight and fourth overall top 5 at the Travelers.
28: Reavie’s inward 28 in R3 helped turn a 2-shot deficit to begin the day into a 6-shot lead by the end of the day.
6: Reavie’s 6-shot lead thru 54 holes is the largest 54-hole lead in the tourney’s 68-year history (previously four shots by four players).
MC: Phil Mickelson, the last (and only) player to successfully defend at the Travelers (2001/2002), MC by five on 3-over 143 (67-76). It’s his third MC in his last five starts this season and finished outside the top 50 in the other two.
28: Making his tourney debut, first-time member (not a rookie) Niemann was T10 thru 54 holes. He’s now been in the top 25 after 54 holes in three straight starts but this was his first time in the top 10 since T2 at the 2018 Memorial 28 starts ago (finished T6). The Chilean ended with bogey-free 66, one of just two blemish-free laps on Sunday, for a career-tying-best T5.
35: Of 35 debutants, Niemann was the best and only top-10 finisher. Next-best were T13s by rookie (and first-round co-leader) Kyoung-Hoon Lee, and Fleetwood.
52: There were 52 players at the Travelers who played in last week’s U.S. Open. Six finished in the top 10, including Reavie, who was the only back-to-back top-10 finisher.
35: Through 35 events this season, the pre-tourney fave/co-fave has won one time: Rory McIlroy (12/1) at THE PLAYERS.
T57: World No. 1 Brooks Koepka, a pre-tourney 15/2 fave outright, finished T57 on even-par 280 (71-66-72-71), 17 shots back. In his third straight week of competition, the four-time major winner posted T57 (Travelers), 2nd (U.S. Open), and T50 (Canadian Open), furthering the label – which he’s trying to shed – that he just “gets up” for the majors. To his credit, Koepka showed up after coming up just short of a 3-peat at the U.S. Open, but admitted he was “gassed” this week.
2: With the win, Reavie secures a 2-year exemption on TOUR and a host of goodies, including a return to the Masters, where he’ll make his fifth appearance, first since 53rd last season.
2: Incredibly, Reavie was the 54-hole leader/co-leader for just a second time in 278 starts.
4: Playing his ninth Travelers, Reavie connected four rounds in the 60s for the first time. Previously, his best was three rounds on two occasions.
2/7: Reavie’s revised outright betting entering R4.
8: Through 34 non-team events this season, Reavie is just the eighth winner to arrive off a top-10 finish in their previous start, first since Patrick Cantlay three weeks ago, who won the Memorial after a T3 at the PGA Championship.
14: Matt Kuchar (idle) remained atop the FedExCup standings for the 14th week this season, including the last 13 weeks in a row.
126: UAB product Sucher, playing this season on a medical extension out of the reshuffle category (knee/ankle surgery), vaulted 96 places to No. 126 in the FEC standings. He’s still short 77 FEC points to retain fully exempt status, but all but secured (at least) conditional status. The 32-year-old went 1 year, 7 months and 6 days between starts: a MC at the 2017 Travelers and MC at the 2019 Country Club de Bogota Championship (Korn Ferry Tour), and has made just four starts this season (three cashes). Interestingly, Sucher has made more starts this season on the Korn Ferry (10), where he’s posted two top 5s among five made cuts.
T2: St. Johns alum Bradley, who checked in off a MC (by five) at the U.S. Open, nets his sixth runner-up in 230 events, first since solo 2nd at the 2018 CIMB. He’s now 16-for-20 on the season with five top 25s and three top 10s, first since T10 at the WGC-Mexico 12 starts ago.
9.85: An anomaly perhaps, but Bradley ranked No. 1 in SG: Putting this week with +9.85. Even with that, he still ranks 189th for the season at -.540.
Field Scoring Average:
This was the 68thTravelers, 29th and 29th consecutive at TPC River Highlands.
Par 70 (35-35)
R1: 69.35; preferred lies
R2: 69.62; preferred lies
SG: Total: 16.381
Strength of Field:
With a Strength of Field rating of 436 (down 10 from last year), Reavie banks 58.00 world-ranking points:
OWGR: From 48 to 26 (up 22); career high
Note: Reavie’s previous career high was 43 after the 2018 Genesis.
FedExCup: From 35 to 12 (up 23)
Note: In his previous 11 seasons, Reavie has qualified for the season-ending TOUR Championship just one time, finishing 10th in the final standings in 2011. He finished 34th and 39th in 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Leader/co-leaders by Round:
R1: Ryan Armour (finished T54): Drops to 1-for-2 as 18-hole leader/co-leader
R1: Bronson Burgoon (T60): Drops to 0-for-2
R1: Kyoung-Hoon Lee (T13): Drops to 0-for-1
R1: Abraham Ancer (T8): Drops to 0-for-2
R1: Mackenzie Hughes (T51): Drops to 1-for-3
R1: Zack Sucher (T2): Drops to 0-for-2
R2: Zack Sucher (T2): Drops to 0-for-1 as 36-hole leader/co-leader
R3: Chez Reavie (Won): Improves to 2-for-2 as 54-hole leader/co-leader
R2: 63: Jason Day
R3: 63: Chez Reavie
R4: 63: Abraham Ancer
R1: (10): Bronson Burgoon (64); Kyoung-Hoon Lee (64); Mackenzie Hughes (64); Zack Sucher (64); Brady Schnell (65); Martin Laird (67); Justin Thomas (68); Daniel Berger (68_MC); Francesco Molinari (69); Kiradech Aphibarnrat (69_MC)
R2: (11): Jason Day (63); Ryan Moore (64); Kevin Kisner (65); Chez Reavie (66); Keegan Bradley (66); Patrick Reed (66); Ben Silverman (66_MC); Kevin Streelman (67); Ryan Blaum (67); Alex Prugh (68); Nick Taylor (69)
Multiple Bogey-free Rounds: NONE
A total of 82 players from a field of 156 made the 36-hole cut of 2-under 138:
44 (of 78) EARLY/late
38 (of 78) LATE/early
70 players survived a secondary cut after 54 holes of 1-under 209.
Note: Reavie is the third straight LATE/early winner of the Travelers.
23 (of 35) tourneys so far this season with a traditional draw:
LATE/early: 14 (Reavie)
Season Winners, including team-Zurich:
14 winners were in their 20s
16 were in their 30s (Reavie age: 37)
6 were in their 40s
Season Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:
11: Rory McIlroy
9: Jon Rahm
Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:
3: Adam Scott (7-2-8)
2: Chez Reavie (1-3)
2: Henrik Stenson (9-8)
2: Rory McIlroy (9-1)
Consecutive Top-10 Streak Ended:
Reavie’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 70 players):
Birdies: 20 (T4)
Bogeys: 3 (T1)
Double Bogeys or Worse: 0 (T1)
Birdie or Better: 27.78% (T5)
Birdie to Bogey Ratio: 6.67 (1st)
Par-3 Scoring: 2.94 (T16)
Par-4 Scoring: 3.73 (1st)
Par-5 Scoring: 4.63 (T31)
Driving Distance (all drives): 274.0 yards (56th)
Driving Accuracy: 47/56 (T3) at 83.93%
GIR: 54/72 (T7) at 75.00%
Putts per GIR: 1.685 (10th)
Total Putts: 109 (T2)
Putts by Round: 26-28-23-32
Scrambling: 15/18 (2nd) at 83.33%
Leaders in Strokes Gained Stats:
1. Viktor Hovland (5.878)
2. Justin Thomas (4.869)
3. Adam Long (4.052)
4. Patrick Cantlay (3.942)
5. Jason Day (3.854)
10. Chez Reavie (2.893)
1. Chez Reavie (6.736)
2. Jason Day (6.277)
3. Vaughn Taylor (6.185)
4. Andrew Putnam (6.173)
5. Justin Thomas (6.115)
1. Wyndham Clark (6.611)
2. Brandon Harkins (4.785)
3. Kevin Streelman (4.350)
4. Kyoung-Hoon Lee (4.317)
5. Russell Knox (4.311)
24. Chez Reavie (1.828)
1. Keegan Bradley (9.848)
2. Sangmoon Bae (8.367)
3. Tommy Fleetwood (7.939)
4. Marc Leishman (6.062)
5. Kevin Tway (5.912)
10. Chez Reavie (4.922)
1. Chez Reavie (11.460)
2. Justin Thomas (11.204)
3. Roberto Diaz (10.408)
4. Jason Day (9.488)
5. Zack Sucher (9.268)