First Look: Travelers Championship
June 19, 2015
By Jeff Shain , PGATOUR.COM
- June 19, 2015
- Bubba Watson is the top-ranked player in a strong field at the Travelers Championship. (Heathcote/Getty Images)
• FULL FIELD: Travelers Championship
• COURSE: TPC River Highlands, 6,841 yards, par 70. Golf has been played on this bluff overlooking the Connecticut River since 1928, with River Highlands becoming the third rendition when it opened in 1982. Pete Dye did a full makeover of the site, upgraded again seven years later by Bobby Weed in consultation with former PGA TOUR pros Howard Twitty and Roger Maltbie. Nos. 15-17 play around a four-acre lake, helping create a finish considered among the most exciting on TOUR. Peter Jacobsen triumphed when the Greater Hartford Open relocated there in 1984, then turned back the clock 19 years later to win it again.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
• CHARITY: New England Charities, which has given more than $32 million to various organizations since its formation in 1952. This year’s list of 152 charities includes the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, The First Tee of Connecticut, The Lustgarten Foundation and Journey Home Inc.
• FIELD WATCH: World No.4 Bubba Watson, the 2010 champion, and No.8 Sergio Garcia are joined in the lineup by seven other players among the top 30 in the world rankings. … No.10 Jason Day currently remains on the list, though the dizzy spell that caused him to collapse near the end of his U.S. Open second round leaves that very tenuous. … Tim Clark, out since January after a flareup of chronic elbow woes, is set to make his first start since Hawaii. … Former U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein, a Massachusetts native now on the European Tour, tees it up on a sponsor invitation.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 258, Kenny Perry (2009).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 60, Tommy Bolt (2nd round, 1954 at Wethersfield CC), Patrick Cantlay (2nd round, 2011).
• LAST YEAR: Kevin Streelman put his name in the record book with a seven-birdie finishing flourish, storming past Sergio Garcia and K.J. Choi with his second straight 6-under-par 64. Streelman one-putted his final 10 holes at River Highlands, including an earlier birdie before starting his closing sprint at No.12. A 37-footer at No.16 ran his birdie streak to five, and a wedge to 9 feet set up his final birdie at the 18th. That broke the record for consecutive birdies to finish by a TOUR winner, when Mike Souchak birdied his final six to capture the 1956 St. Paul Open. Streelman, who had missed his previous four cuts, collected a second trophy to go with his win at the 2013 Tampa Bay Championship.
• STORYLINES: Six of the past nine Travelers winners have made it their first, including all four that preceded Streelman – Ken Duke (2013), Marc Leishman (’12), Freddie Jacobsen (’11) and Watson. … River Highlands will feature 39 players who teed it up at Chambers Bay for this week’s U.S. Open. Three of the past five Travelers champions did not play the Open a week earlier, and Streelman missed last year's cut. … Jon Rahm, who tied for fifth as an amateur at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, takes another swing against PGA TOUR competition. The Spaniard (via Arizona State) is No.1 in the world amateur rankings. Georgia’s Lee McCoy also will compete as an amateur.
• SHORT CHIPS: Just four New Englanders have won in Hartford, though two came back-to-back in 2005 (Brad Faxon) and 2006 (J.J. Henry). The others are Paul Azinger (1987, ’89) and Bob Toski (1953) ... In the tournament’s 63-year history, only Phil Mickelson (2001-02) has managed to win it back-to-back. … Geno Auriemma, who recently guided UConn to their 10th NCAA women’s basketball title, headlines the Wednesday pro-am along with comedian George Lopez, “Today” show co-host Matt Lauer and ESPN’s Chris Berman.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3:30-6:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
• RADIO: Thursday-Friday, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com).