|New Travelers Championship to deliver Premier, World Class Event|
HARTFORD, Conn., Dec. 7, 2006 - St. Paul Travelers (NYSE: STA), the PGA TOUR, Inc. and the GHJ Community Foundation announced today plans for enhancing the Travelers Championship that will create a premier event for the State of Connecticut, a great fan experience, and a top-notch competition for golf professionals.
The Travelers Championship will offer a total purse of $6 million, the highest purse in the tournament's history, and an increase of over $1 million from last year, making it a destination for players and fans.
Other improvements to the tournament include innovative upgrades to the TPC River Highlands facility in Cromwell, Conn. The upgrade will include a state-of-the-art practice facility and driving range, a revamped corporate row and a renovation to the course skyboxes. The plan will be phased-in beginning in January 2007, with components of the project being completed throughout the next two years.
"We are extremely excited that all parties came together to mutually agree on upgrades to help revitalize this storied tournament, which is so important to the State of Connecticut," said Jay Fishman, Chairman and CEO of St. Paul Travelers. "Following renovations to an already beautiful TPC River Highlands facility, we believe that the Travelers Championship is positioned to be a featured, best-in-class tournament on the PGA TOUR."
"We are happy to be teaming with such an engaged company in its first year of title sponsorship for this historic tournament," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "The dedication St. Paul Travelers is exhibiting to ensure the success of this event gives us great confidence that this tournament will have a positive impact in both central Connecticut and the entire New England region."
In order to provide a more enjoyable experience for PGA TOUR players at the Travelers Championship, the tournament Pro-Am will be restructured, to include groups of three, to give the players a better opportunity to interact with the participants and fans in attendance.
The Travelers Championship also named the Hartford Marriott Downtown as the official hotel of the 2007 tournament. Located in the heart of Hartford, the hotel will be used as the after-hours focal point of the Travelers Championship.
Lux, Bond & Green, the oldest jeweler with a continuous operation within the State of Connecticut, and nine stores strong throughout the New England region, was named the official trophy provider of the Travelers Championship.
The Travelers Championship is working with Buick on plans to continue its role as the official car of the tournament.
"It's exciting to have such a quality group of partners dedicated to making this tournament a premier event on the PGA TOUR," said Travelers Championship Tournament Director, Nathan Grube. "With their support, it gives us an opportunity to forge full steam ahead and continue to enliven the future of this already distinguished tournament."
As Travelers continues to make enhancements to the storied Connecticut tournament, it unveiled the Travelers Championship logo, along with a new look and feel to all tournament materials. For more information, visit www.travelerschampionship.com.
The four-year agreement, announced earlier in the year between Travelers and the PGA TOUR, ensures the tournament will be held through 2010 in Connecticut, which has hosted a PGA TOUR stop since 1952. The 2007 Travelers Championship, June 18-24, will be played at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. and is included on the list of tournaments in which players will receive points for the first annual FedExCup.
The Travelers Championship will be televised both domestically and internationally. The first and second rounds will be broadcast live on The Golf Channel and the third and fourth rounds will be broadcast live on CBS.
Tournaments held in Connecticut have a long-standing tradition on the PGA TOUR. Some of the more familiar names in golf have won tournaments held here, including Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Billy Casper, Ken Venturi, Nick Price, Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson. Charlie Sifford became the first African-American to win a PGA TOUR event when he won the Connecticut-based tournament in 1967.
St. Paul Travelers is a leading provider of commercial property casualty insurance. For more information, visit www.stpaultravelers.com.
About the PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers. Its primary purpose is to provide competitive earnings opportunities for past, current and future members of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour; to protect the integrity of the game; and to help grow the reach of the game in the U.S. and around the world.
In 2006, the three Tours will compete in nearly 120 events for approximately $325 million in prize money. Tournaments will be held in eight countries outside the U.S. and in 38 states.
In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, TOUR events also generate significant funds for local charities. In fact, the three Tours reached the $1 billion mark in overall charitable contributions in late 2005. The PGA TOUR's web site address is www.pgatour.com and the company is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
About the GHJ Community Foundation
The GHJ Community Foundation is the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that manages the Travelers Championship with volunteer support from the Greater Hartford Jaycees.
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