Travelers Championship 2012 Leaderboard: Bubba Watson Bounces Back from US Open

Sam R. Quinn@SamQuinn_Senior Analyst IIIJune 24, 2012

CROMWELL, CT - JUNE 23:   Bubba Watson makes an approach shot onto the 18th green during Round Three of the 2012 Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 23, 2012 in Cromwell, Connecticut. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Bubba Watson didn't win the 2012 Travelers Championship, but he put on a much-needed strong performance at the TPC at River Highlands.

After missing the cut at the U.S. Open at the Olympic Golf Club last week, Watson finished the Travelers Championship tied for second place at 13 under par. On the unforgiving behemoth that is the Olympic Golf Club, Watson posted a two-day score of 149.

Watson was absolutely terrible in the opening round in San Francisco, putting up seven bogeys, a double-bogey and just one birdie. His second round score of 71 wasn't as embarrassing, but wasn't enough to get him to the third day of play.

The course was unkind to mostly every player, but it was especially cruel to Watson. His bounce-back effort at the TPC River Highlands was highly sought and crucial to the future of the No. 3 overall moneymaker on the PGA Tour this season.

He shot just seven bogeys the entire tournament, a huge turnaround from what he did last week.

The 33-year-old Florida native compiled an average drive distance of 325 yards, almost 10 yards more than his season average. It wasn't just his power that helped him this week, it was his improved accuracy with his driver.

He wasn't as precise as others in the field, but he improved on his 57.9 percent season driving accuracy, landing 60.7 percent of his drives on the fairway.

He was among the best in regards to greens in regulation, reaching the carpet in regulation 75 percent of the time, almost a nine percent improvement on his season average.

Watson won The Masters at the beginning of April, but missed two of three cuts at the Memorial Tournament and the U.S. Open following his playoff victory over Louis Oosthuizen. 

This second-place finish is crucial to getting his season back on track. Watson started his 2012 campaign with nine top-20 finishes and four top-10s. He hadn't finished worse than 18th place before missing back-to-back cuts. That's the type of disappointment that can send a golfer's season into a tailspin.

Watson obviously has the physical tools to finished atop the leaderboard every week, but golf is such a mental game. If he had come out and laid another egg—his third in a row—it wouldn't have bode well for the rest of his season.

His success this weekend at the Travelers Championship will help him to turn in another impressive performance at the AT&T National starting on June 28.

Position Player Score Today
1 Marc Leishman -14 -8
T2 Charley Hoffman -13 -4
T2 Bubba Watson -13 -5
T4 Roland Thatcher -12 E
T4 Tim Clark -12 -3
T4 Brian Davis -12 E
T4 John Rollins -12 -2
T8 Fredrik Jacobson -11 -2
T8 Brendon de Jonge -11 -4
T8 Matt Kuchar -11 -2

Here is a link to the full leaderboard.