|Sports Legends and Local Sports Heroes to take to the Course In The Travelers Celebrity PRO-AM|
Sports Legends and Local Sports Heroes To Take To The Course In The Travelers Celebrity PRO-AM
Hartford, Conn., Friday, May 30, 2008 - The player field of the Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am will have significant added talent when several legendary athletes and sports industry stars take to the course alongside the PGA TOUR professionals. Fan favorite and long time tournament supporter Chris Berman of ESPN will once again return to the pro-am field. Boston Red Sox legend Dwight Evans and noted NFL players Doug Flutie and Joe Theismann are all scheduled to compete. Rounding out the sports crowd, two local heroes will play as well, University of Connecticut coaches, Geno Auriemma and Randy Edsall, who have consistently lead the Huskies to national recognition in recent years. The Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am will also feature Hollywood stars Luke Wilson, Steve Guttenburg and Aidan Quinn, as well as Tony Award-winning Broadway star James Naughton. The Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am is a featured event of the Travelers Championship and will be held at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. on Wednesday, June 18, with tee times of 6:50 a.m. - 8:50 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. - 1:50 p.m.
"The Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am is a unique asset to our tournament that we really enjoy delivering to the fans. There is no where else in the region where New England sports fans would ever be able to see heroes like Dwight Evans, Doug Flutie, Geno Auriemma, Randy Edsall and our New England golfers like Billy Andrade and J.J. Henry all compete in one event. With Chris Berman, Joe Theismann, and all of the additional celebrities who will play, the pro-am will be a fantastic component of the Travelers Championship," said Andy Bessette, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Travelers. "We greatly appreciate these individuals donating their time to be part of the tournament, to assist us in delivering a world class sporting event to the fans all while raising funds and awareness for our designated charities, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and the Greater Hartford Jaycees.
Dynamic sportscaster Chris Berman has been a great enthusiast of Connecticut's PGA TOUR event for years, and is known for infusing his energy into the event. Berman has been on-air with ESPN since the station was founded in 1979 and is best known as the voice of NFL Sundays. He has been named Sportscaster of the Year six times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. In addition, Berman and the shows he has been part of have earned nine Emmy Awards and 12 CableACE's. An avid golfer, one of Berman's most important shots came earlier this year when he made a winning putt at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am 3M Celebrity Challenge. Berman's winning shot earned $13,000 for the charity of his choice, Literary Volunteers of Greater Waterbury.
Three time Major League Baseball All-Star Dwight "Dewey" Evans established a reputation as being one of the finest defensive outfielders of his generation, winning eight Gold Gloves for fielding excellence during his nineteen year career as the right-fielder of the Boston Red Sox. Evans also had notable success at the plate with a career batting average of .272 with 385 home runs. Evans' Red Sox career spanned the seasons of 1972-1990, followed by one year with the Baltimore Orioles. In 2000, Evans was inducted to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. In his post-playing career, Evans has served as a hitting coach and a player development consultant for the Red Sox.
New England sports legend Doug Flutie is a fan favorite at the Travelers Championship, having participated in the Celebrity Pro-Am several times. Flutie rose to fame in 1984 at Boston College when his famed Hail Mary pass in the final seconds of the game clinched the win over Miami. Flutie went on to win the Heisman Trophy that year, the top honor in college football. In his professional career, Flutie spent time playng for the New England Partriots, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers, in addition to a successful playing career in the Canadian Football League and the United States Football League. Flutie finished his professional career with another dramatic play in 2006, when he successfully drop kicked the ball for an extra point, something that had not been done in a regular-season NFL game since 1941.
Former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann played for the Washington Redskins from 1974-1985, setting franchise records for passing yardage (25,206), completions (2,044) and attempts (3,602) during his career. Theismann led the Redskins to victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII and an appearance in Super Bowl XVIII. He was awarded the NFL's MVP in 1983 and played in two Pro Bowl games. In addtion, Theismann was selected NFL's Man of the Year in 1982 for his community service and dedication to the health and welfare of children. Theismann graduated in 1971 from the University of Notre Dame where he received All-American honors and led the Fighting Irish to consecutive Cotton Bowls.
Five-time NCAA National Coach of the year Geno Auriemma is responsible for transforming the UConn program from one with only one winning record when he took the lead in 1985 to its credit to its current state, which includes five national championships, nine Final Fours and 29 Big East titles. This season, Auriemma lead the Huskies to a Final Four bid, the BIG EAST regular season and tournament championship and a 36-2 record. The development of national caliber student-athletes has been Auriemma's forte during his UConn coaching tenure, with every recruited freshman that has played for Auriemma and completed her eligibility at UConn having obtained her undergraduate degree. UConn's remarkable success over the years has been recognized with Auriemma's induction into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Randy Edsall has been the head football coach at UConn since 1999. This past season, Edsall lead the Huskies to a 9-4 record, a share of the BIG EAST Conference championship and a spot in the Miekenke Car Care Bowl, the second bowl berth in the school's history. During the historic 2007 season, Uconn made its first appearance in the national rankings, debuting at No. 16 in the AP Poll on October 28, marking the highest debut of any school since Florida State debuted at No. 10 in 1964. Edsall lead the Huskies in their move from Division I-AA into the BIG EAST Conference within Football Bowl Subdivision. During the first three seasons in the move up from Division I-AA, the team earned a .500 or better average, and in recent seasons, UConn has finished in the national top 20 for total offense (2003, 2004) and total defense (2002, 2005).
The Travelers Championship is the PGA TOUR's only early summer stop in the Northeast. A complete schedule of tournament week events, updated player field details and event tickets are now available on www.TravelersChampionship.com
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