Perennial Fan Favorites Set to Return to Connecticut
June 12, 2007
Travelers Championship Welcomes Back Additional fan favorites
Five popular PGA TOUR professionals commit to play- Mark Calcavecchia, Fred Funk, Jason Gore, Rocco Mediate, and Paul Azinger
HARTFORD, Conn., May 16, 2007 - This summer, golf fans have a lot to look forward to at Connecticut's Travelers Championship when top PGA TOUR professionals will compete for the largest purse in the Championship's history. The Travelers Championship announced today that five professionals who have been competing for Connecticut crowds for years will return for the inaugural event. Record-setting Mark Calcavecchia, will join fan favorite Fred Funk, Jason Gore, Paul Azinger, and Rocco Mediate in the player field, June 18-24 at TPC River Highlands.
Mark Calcavecchia will set the record for most appearances by a player in Connecticut this year, when he makes his twenty-fifth appearance in Connecticut's PGA TOUR event. A regular competitor almost every year since 1981, Calcavecchia's earnings at the event total $856,385.55, with his best showing in 2000 when he finished solo second. Calcavecchia holds thirteen PGA TOUR victories, including a win at this year's PODS Championship, where he set a course record 9-under par 62 in the third round. In addition, he has five international victories and has played on four Ryder Cup teams.
Fred Funk will make his twelfth appearance in Connecticut, during what has been an outstanding season for him on both the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour. In his second Champions Tour appearance of the season, he won the Turtle Bay Championship by a record eleven strokes. On the PGA TOUR, Funk captured the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun in a sudden death playoff, making him the fifth oldest winner on the PGA TOUR. With these wins, Funk joined Craig Sadler as the only player to win on the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour in the same season. In 2005, Funk became the oldest winner of THE PLAYERS Championship at 48 years, nine months and 14 days. That season he earned a career-best $2,830,046 and won in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1995-96 seasons.
Jason Gore will make his fifth appearance in Connecticut this summer. Gore captured six Nationwide victories between 2000 and 2005, with four wins in 2005, as well as his first TOUR victory at the 84 LUMBER Classic in 2005. The win made him the second player on TOUR history to win a TOUR event and the Nationwide event in the same season (Paul Stankowski/1996); the first sponsor exemption to win since Adam Scott at the 2003 Deutsche Bank Championship and first Nationwide Tour player who was promoted to the PGA TOUR via three wins to win on the PGA TOUR in that same season.
Returning for his twentieth appearance, Paul Azinger has won twice at Connecticut's tournament (1987, 1989). Azinger holds twelve PGA TOUR victories, two international victories, and has played on four Ryder Cup teams. Azinger will serve as captain of the 2009 Ryder Cup team. In 1995, Azinger was awarded the Golf Writers Association of America Award, given to the individual who has continued to be active in golf despite physical handicap or serious illness, after overcoming cancer and returning to the course.
Known for his on course energy and interaction with the crowd, Rocco Mediate makes his thirteenth appearance in Connecticut this summer. Mediate holds five PGA TOUR victories and two international victories. This year, Mediate finished tied for ninth at the Nissan Open and solo second at the Arnold Palmer invitational presented by MasterCard.
"Our tournament has a tremendous history, attracting the world's best golfers for more than fifty years. With such extensive history, Connecticut golf fans certainly have their favorite players to follow, and so we are quite pleased to welcome back these professionals who have added so much energy and excitement to our event over the years," said Tournament Director Nathan Grube. "They all have notable histories with our event and we're glad they will be here to bring in the start of a new era for Connecticut golf."
The recent commitments join a dynamic field of fan favorites including Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, David Toms, Stewart Cink, Zach Johnson, Peter Jacobsen, Brad Faxon, and defending champion J.J. Henry.
Travelers Championship tickets are available on www.TravelersChampionship.com.
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About the Travelers Championship
The Travelers Championship will be held June 18-24, 2007 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. Proud to be part of the inaugural FedExCup season, the 2007 event marks the start of a new era for professional golf in Connecticut, at a tournament with a rich history of more than 50 years on the PGA TOUR. With a new title sponsor, course improvements, and the highest purse in the tournament's history ($6 million), the Travelers Championship is committed to becoming one of the top TOUR events. The championship is sponsored by Travelers, a leading provider of property casualty insurance. Travelers is a proud hometown title sponsor that has been doing business in the community for nearly a century and a half and today has more than 6,000 employees in the Greater Hartford area. For more information, visit www.TravelersChampionship.com.