The Travelers Championship made a charter flight available for those who competed on the other side of the country at the U.S. Open. It's not a new concept, of course. The transatlantic travel to and from The Open Championship is probably noticed most often, but golfers descending in Connecticut will enjoy the soft landing of TPC River Highlands. As of midday Monday, 10 who finished inside the top 25 at Chambers Bay were scheduled to compete, four of whom placed inside the top 10.
The opportunity made for nonstop service falls in line with the commitment that Travelers Insurance exercised early last year. Travelers is on board as the title sponsor through 2024. The company has embraced its position in the week after the season's second major since the FedExCup was introduced in 2007.
At 6,841 yards, TPC River Highlands is the second-shortest course on the PGA TOUR schedule. Only Pebble Beach is shorter at 6,816 yards. Unlike par-72 Pebble, this week's track is a stock par 70. At -0.315 strokes to par last year, it was the third-easiest par 70 of the season. Like any shootout, hitting lots of greens and holing lots of putts serves as the formula for success.
En route to his one-stroke victory, defending champion Kevin Streelman ranked T10 in greens in regulation with 53. He also placed eighth in proximity to the hole. That precision took some of the pressure off his putting. He finished the tournament third in strokes gained: putting and second in average distance of putts made. Not surprisingly, he also co-led the field in par-4 scoring. TPC River Highlands ranked a lowly 38th in that stat with an average of 4.00, which helps explain why overall scoring is so low.
While he filled up the stat sheet, Streelman is best remembered for walking off with seven birdies. It established the TOUR record for most consecutive birdies at the end of a tournament by the winner. It also put an end to the streak of four first-time champs at TPC River Highlands.
After a warm start to the week, high temperatures will dip into the mid-70s by Friday. With the shifting pattern, rain and thunderstorms cannot be ruled out. The threat will fluctuate throughout the tournament. Winds don't figure to be too much of an issue, but moderate breezes are already forecast for Sunday.