Protesters Disrupt Travelers Golf; Collin Morikawa Finishes 13th

Bizarre scene on final hole colors the green before Scottie Scheffler wins the tournament in a playoff
Collin Morikawa
Collin Morikawa /

Collin Morikawa had a good start and strong finish in the final round of the Travelers Championship, but he did not do enough in between to challenge for his first title of the year.  But he had finished his round before protesters interrupted play on the 18th hole in a stunning display.

Morikawa, a Cal graduate, shot a 1-under-par 69 on Sunday to finish at 16-under for the event in Cromwell, Connecticut. That left him in a tie for 13th place, six strokes behind Scottie Scheffler and Tom Kim, who tied for first place after 72 holes at 22-under amid a bizarre ending. With Scheffler holding a one-stroke lead and both players with putters in hand on the 18th green, protesters ran onto the green while red and white paint packages were thrown onto the green, leaving bright spots on the putting surface. 

“You don’t really know what is going on, you don’t really understand the situation,” Scheffler said in a post-match interview with CBS Sports. “There’s people running around everywhere and you don’t really know what’s going to happen.”

After a 15-minute delay as police escorted the intruders away and the green was doctored, Scheffler putted twice for a par and Kim holed a birdie putt to force a playoff.

The hole location on the 18th hole – which was the first playoff hole – was moved because of the debris on the green, and Scheffler parred that first extra hole for his sixth PGA Tour win of the year. He is the first player since Arnold Palmer in 1962 to win six titles before July.

Although Morikawa failed to get his first PGA Tour victory since winning the Zozo Championship last October, he did finish in the top 16 for the eighth straight event.

Morikawa began the day in sixth place, and he moved into a tie for fifth place, just two strokes off the lead, when he birdied the first hole Sunday.

But he just managed pars the next eight holes and in a tournament in which four players finish at 20-under or better, pars are not good enough.  Morikawa then bogeyed the 10th hole to push him down the standings, and his double-bogey 6 on the par-4 12th hole ended his chances of winning the event.  He regrouped to finish with birdies on the 13th, 15th and 17th holes to get under par for the day and give him four rounds in the 60s.

Max Homa, the other former Cal golfer to play the final two rounds in this event, had his best round of the tournament on Sunday. He shot a 4-under-par 66 to finish at 3-under for the tournament, leaving him tied for 61st.

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Jake Curtis


Jake Curtis worked in the San Francisco Chronicle sports department for 27 years, covering virtually every sport, including numerous Final Fours, several college football national championship games, an NBA Finals, world championship boxing matches and a World Cup. He was a Cal beat writer for many of those years, and won awards for his feature stories.