By Christopher Powers
If the likes of Matt Kuchar and Kevin Na have taught us anything, it’s that some of a tour pro’s best golf can come in their late 30s and early 40s, no matter how many “youth movements” there are on the PGA Tour. But even if that’s the case, it’s still hard to win, just ask Chez Reavie.
Reavie, 37, has had 11 top 10s since the beginning of 2017, including a pair of runner ups and two third-place finishes, one of them coming last week at the U.S. Open. But the Wichita, Kansas native was still stuck on one PGA Tour victory, and it came back in 2008 at the RBC Canadian Open.
Ten years, 10 months and 27 days later, Reavie got back in the winner’s circle on Sunday at the Travelers Championship, carding a one-under 69 to win by four over Keegan Bradley and Zack Sucher.
“It means everything,” said Reavie. “I started from the ground up, had wrist surgery, got a swing coach that helped take pressure off my wrist. Just kind of slowly built my foundation and here we are.”
Sunday was supposed to be a victory lap for Reavie, who led by six entering the final round, but it got much closer than he hoped it would. Bradley got to five under on the day at the 15th, pulling him within one stroke as Reavie plodded along at even for the round. After matching pars at 16, Bradley made a disastrous double bogey at the difficult 17th, while Reavie made birdie to close the door.
“I had to stay patient today, Keegan was playing great, I kept missing putts. It felt like I was hitting good putts, they just weren’t going in. Finally, I made one on 17 and kind of turned a corner.”
For Bradley, the T-2 is his best finish of the season, and for Sucher, it’s the best finish of his life. The 32-year-old journeyman was playing on a sponsor’s exemption this week, and at one point held a five-shot lead on Saturday afternoon.
Vaughn Taylor finished in solo fourth, while Paul Casey, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Tway tied for fifth.