|J.J HENRY, JAY WILLIAMSON, BILLY ANDRADE AND ADDITIONAL NEW ENGLAND FAN FAVORITES TO COMPETE IN TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP|
J.J. HENRY, JAY WILLIAMSON, BILLY ANDRADE AND ADDITIONAL NEW ENGLAND FAN FAVORITES TO COMPETE IN TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Hartford, Conn., Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - New England golf fans have a lot to look forward to this summer, when a strong and talented contingent of native sons return home to compete in the Travelers Championship, the PGA TOUR's only early summer Northeast stop. Among the latest commitments to the player field are Fairfield, Conn. native, 2006 Champion J.J. Henry and Trinity College alumnus Jay Williamson, who finished No. 2 in last year's dramatic playoff. Popular fan favorites Billy Andrade and Brett Quigley of Rhode Island, James Driscoll of Massachusetts and University of Hartford graduates Jerry Kelly, Tim Petrovic and Patrick Sheehan will all compete as well, when the tournament tees off June 16 - 22 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.
Past champion J.J. Henry earned his first PGA TOUR victory in his home state of Connecticut in 2006, in front of thousands of fans who had followed his career for years. Henry's win made him the first native player to win the event that has been hosted in the state since 1952. Henry's win was a highlight of a career season, in which he finished No. 29 on the PGA TOUR money list. The win in Connecticut earned him an exemption into the British Open and assisted him in earning a spot on the Ryder Cup for the first time. Henry followed his standout season with a solid 2007, during which he netted two top-10 finishes and earned more than $1 million for the second consecutive season.
"I look forward to playing in Cromwell this summer. New England sports fans have always been so tremendously supportive of this event, it makes it really special to play at home," said Henry. "Last year was a unbelievable comeback for this event, and I can't wait to see the energy and growth that 2008 is sure to bring. Particularly with the new practice facility and all of the new events that are planned for fans, I'm sure it will be another incredible week in Connecticut."
Also making his return after a remarkable showing in 2007 is Jay Williamson, a New Englander by association, having picked up a strong local following as a Trinity College graduate. Williamson caught the attention of all his fans, as well as golfers around the world, when he played four masterful rounds at the inaugural Travelers Championship last year. Having entered the tournament on a sponsor's exemption, Williamson shot 66-66-67-66 on the par-70 course to finish No. 2 in a dramatic playoff with Hunter Mahan. The finish earned Williamson a career-best $648,000, eventually resulting in a No. 123 finish on the PGA TOUR money list, which ultimately earned him his 2008 PGA TOUR card. Following the Travelers Championship, Williamson played the remainder of the season as a Special Temporary Member, making a total of 11 out of 14 cuts last season. Williamson's dramatic finish in Hartford came just two months after his first Nationwide Tour victory, which was at the Fort Smith Classic.
Rhode Islander and four-time PGA TOUR winner Billy Andrade has been a fan favorite in Hartford for years and will be making his twenty-first appearance at Connecticut's PGA TOUR event. Andrade's best showing was in 2001, when he finished second. He rounded out the 2006 season with three top-10 finishes, making his eighteenth consecutive year on the top-125 money list. Last year, Andrade made 16 cuts in 27 events played.
Along with Andrade, fellow Rhode Islander and Massachusetts native Brett Quigley will return for his eighth appearance in Connecticut. This year on TOUR, Quigley's best finish came at The PLAYERS Championship, where he finished tied for eighth. Quigley has also netted two additional top-25 finishes on TOUR this year. Quigley had a career year in 2006, setting personal bests for earnings ($2,617,419) and top-10's(10).
Masschusetts native James Driscoll finished tied for fifth at last week's AT&T Classic, his best finish of this season. In addition, Discoll has netted four other top-25 finishes this season. Last year, Driscoll made the cut in 13 of 24 Nationwide Tour events, with eight top-25 finishes, including four top-10's and two runner-up showings.
University of Hartford will be well represented with three graduates committed to the Travelers Championship player field. Tim Petrovic has grabbed two top-10 finishes this year, including a tie for seventh at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he was champion in 2005. Last year, Petrovic finished the season with nine top-25 finishes and more than $1 million in earnings. Two-time PGA TOUR winner Jerry Kelly has had two top-10 finsihes this year, including a solo third at the Sony Open in Hawaii, where he earned his first PGA TOUR victory in 2002. In 2007, Patrick Sheehan was a money-earner in 23 of 30 events played on the Nationwide Tour, including 8 top-10 finishes. Sheehan finsihed the season No. 9 on the Nationwide Tour money list, therefore earning his PGA TOUR card for the 2008 season. This year, Sheehan has made the cut in 11 of 15 events, with his best finish coming at the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun, where he finished No. 6.
The New Englanders join a rapidly growing player field that already includes Vijay Singh, Stewart Cink, David Toms and defending champion Hunter Mahan. For tickets, a complete player field list and additional tournament information, visit www.TravelersChampionship.com
About the Travelers Championship