CROMWELL, Conn. -- The Travelers Championship doesn’t start until Thursday, but Ricky Barnes cashed the first check of the week, winning the tournament’s 15 1/2 Challenge -- a competition between 22 players to see who could hit closest to the pin on the iconic 40-foot wide, 15-foot long red umbrella in the water left of the drivable par-4 15th hole.
Barnes hit his shot to 2 feet, 8 inches early Tuesday, then watched to see if it would hold up. It did, and Barnes received $10,000 for the Ricky Barnes Foundation.
Barnes and his wife, Suzanne, established the foundation to benefit youth programs related to health, sports and fitness in the San Joaquin County where they both grew up in California.
“All the thanks goes to Travelers for hosting us at a great tournament and doing great charity events like this,” said Barnes. “After hearing the news that I won, I told everyone that I should have started my Foundation earlier. I just started it in February with my wife so this check will go to a great cause.”
Previous winners of the event include Chad Campbell and Justin Rose.