Xander Schauffele birdied the final hole on Sunday to win the Travelers Championship, holding off Sahith Theegala for his sixth career PGA Tour title.
The 28-year-old American fired a two-under-par 68 to finish on 19 under 261 after 72 holes at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
That was enough to defeat Theegala, who fell from the lead with a closing double-bogey, and fellow American JT Poston, who shared second on 263.
It marked the first time Schauffele had converted a 54-hole PGA Tour lead into a triumph, but that happened only after Theegala seized the lead with a birdie at the 17th – and then found a bunker off the 18th tee to set up a nightmare finish.
“It’s incredible,” Schauffele said. “I was looking at birdie just getting into a playoff. I saw a little hiccup for Sahith and I knew I had to get it into the cup.”
World No 15 Schauffele captured his fifth PGA Tour title in April at the pairs event in New Orleans with pal Patrick Cantlay.
Schauffele had not won a solo tour event since the 2019 Tournament of Champions.
US amateur Michael Thorbjornsen fired his second-consecutive 66 to finish fourth on 265, the top amateur showing in tournament history.
“It was surreal. It was crazy,” he said. “I think it was louder than last week at the US Open. It was special. I felt pretty comfortable out there.”
World No 120 Theegala settled for his best PGA finish, improving on his share of third from February’s Phoenix Open.
The four South Africans in the tournament – Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Dylan Frittelli, Garrick Higgo and Dawie van der Walt – all missed the cut.
Schauffele and Theegala were deadlocked on 18 under with two holes remaining.
Theegala then sank a birdie putt from just inside 11 feet at 17 to seize the lead at 19 under, pumping his fist in celebration while Schauffele watched stoically from the fairway.
While Schauffele two-putted from 25 feet for par at 17, Theegala found a fairway bunker near a high slope at the par-four 18th and tried to blast out.
Instead, Theegala left the ball in the sand at his feet before punching it out into the fairway with his third shot and pitching to 12 feet from the cup.
His bogey putt lipped out off the left edge and he tapped in for double-bogey, falling one adrift of Schauffele, who was comfortably in the 18th fairway.
“I knew it was going to be close to the lip, but not that close,” said Theegala. “Never in a million years did I think I would allow myself to blade it. All I had to do was chunk it.
“I had room there. I just straight bladed it. And then from there, got to try and make five. I nearly bladed it again.”
Schauffele dropped his approach just beyond three feet from the cup and sank the clutch putt for the triumph.
“I know, and all the guys out here know, how hard it is to win and how few opportunities there are,” said Theegala. “That’s why something like this is really going to hurt.”
Schauffele made bogey at the 2nd but answered with birdie putts of 15 feet at the par-four 4th and just inside 11 feet at the par-five 6th.
He rolled in a 26-foot birdie putt at the par-three 11th but was way left off beyond a cart path at the 12th tee on his way to a bogey.
Theegala, who sank a 10-footer to birdie the 1st and a 24-footer to birdie the 9th, made a tap-in birdie at the par-five 13th and sank a four-foot birdie putt at the par-four 15th to match Schauffele for the lead.
© Agence France-Presse