CROMWELL, Conn. — Dustin Johnson won the Travelers Championship on Sunday to end a long drought and extend his streak of PGA Tour seasons with at least one victory to 13.
Johnson closed with a 3-under-par 67 for a one-stroke victory over Kevin Streelman at TPC River Highlands, the third event since competition resumed after a three-month shutdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the third event without fans at the course. Johnson had not won since February 2019 in the Mexico Championship, a World Golf Championship event.
"I'm definitely proud of myself for continuing the streak, and I want to keep it going," said the 36-year-old Johnson, who now has 21 career wins on the PGA Tour, with the 2016 U.S. Open his lone major title in the bunch. "It was a long time between wins, though, and so hopefully it won't be that long for the next one."
Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus each won in 17 consecutive years. Johnson failed to win in 2014, but he is given credit for winning in the 2013-14 season because of his November 2013 victory at the HSBC Champions, another WGC event. The PGA Tour changed to a wraparound season in 2013.
Johnson tapped in for par on the par-4 18th on Sunday evening, then raised his ball to acknowledge the smattering of applause from course workers, officials and reporters, the only in-person witnesses.
He finished at 19-under 261 to hold off Streelman, who closed with a 67. Streelman, who made seven straight birdies to win at TPC River Highlands in 2014, had a 37-foot birdie try on 18 that ended up just short and right.
He was two strokes behind Johnson on the 17th fairway when the weather horn blew for an hour-long storm delay. Johnson came out of the suspension in play to hit his tee shot on No. 16 into a greenside bunker. His second shot went well past the hole, and he made a bogey to cut his lead to a stroke.
"I've had a few missed cuts, so to come back and finish a solo second is nice, but to to be that close and perform and be right there, I'm just a little disappointed right now," said the 41-year-old Streelman, who was in search of his third PGA Tour win and first since the Travelers Championship in June 2014.
Johnson was at 19 under when his tee shot on the par-4 15th went left and came inches from going into the signature lake that surrounds the finishing holes. His first pitch didn't make it to the green, but his second shot but the ball four feet from the hole as he saved par.
"It was lucky," admitted Johnson, No. 6 in the current World Golf Ranking. "But I still had to made a good up and down to make par."
Mackenzie Hughes, the 29-year-old Canadian who shot a first-round 60, had a 67 to tie for third with 23-year-old Will Gordon at 17 under. Hughes made 48-foot birdie putt on 17, which he started well left of the hole and watched as it turned right to the flag. He finished the round with a much straighter 43-foot birdie putt on 18.
Gordon, who had no status on either the PGA Tour or the Korn Ferry Tour entering the tournament, had seven birdies in a 64. The finish was just enough to give him a special temporary card and unlimited exemptions for the rest of the season. His lone bogey came on 17 and briefly dropped him to fourth place.
"I knew the higher the better, so I was watching the leaderboard coming in," he said of his fight for status.
Johnson started the day two strokes behind Brendon Todd, and he took the lead after three straight birdies put him at 20 under after 10 holes.
Todd closed with a 75 — he made a 7 on the par-4 12th — to tie for 11th at 13 under.
Top-ranked Rory McIlroy tied for 11th at 13 under after a 67.
"There's been some really good stuff in there," he said, "but then just some really stupid mistakes."
Phil Mickelson, playing his first tournament since turning 50, followed his opening rounds of 64 and 63 with back-to-back 71s to finish at 11 under and tie for 24th.
"I'm looking at this week as progress," the World Golf Hall of Famer said. "Certainly the goal is to win golf tournaments, but keep in mind I've missed a bunch of cuts (this year). I haven't played to the level I've wanted to, and this week I came in and had a lot of great finds. I hit a lot of good shots, hit a lot of good tee shots. My misses were much better."
There were seven COVID-19-related withdrawals from the Connecticut event, with two positive tests among players. Cameron Champ withdrew Tuesday, and Denny McCarthy had a positive test on Friday.
The PGA Tour is making some tweaks to its coronavirus policies as a result of the challenges it faced at TPC River Highlands. Players, caddies and anyone else considered "inside the bubble" will have to test negative before being allowed on the grounds of the Detroit Golf Club for the Rocket Mortgage Classic, which starts Thursday.