HARTFORD, Connecticut – For the 37th consecutive year, the 2020 Travelers Championship tees off Thursday June 25 at TPC River Highlands in in Cromwell, Conn., and due to the coronavisus health problem will be unlike any other sporting event of its kind. The field is loaded with the world’s best players including 13 of the top 20, but unfortunately no spectators are allowed. You can watch the action on Golf Channel or CBS TV or SIRIUS Radio PGA Tour Station No. 92.
The CBS golf team is led by anchor Jim Nantz, a three-time Emmy Award-winner and five-time National Sportscaster of the Year, who will be live at the event. Sir Nick Faldo, winner of six major championships and more than 40 tournaments worldwide, serves as lead analyst will be remote in the studio in Orlando with other analysts including Ian Baker-Finch, Frank Nobilo and Mark Immelman.
The field includes Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, along with Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Bryson DeChambeau, Viktor Hovland, Matthew Wolff, Ian Poulter, Kevin Kisner, Harold Varner III, Sergio Garcia, Max Homa, Gary Woodland, and last year’s winner Chez Reavie, among others.
The tournament will most definitely be a shootout, and of course the player/millionaire with the most birdies & fewest bogies will win the $1.3 million first place check. One thing about TPC River Highlands is the course is unique because it started unlike other made-for-the-PGA Tour venues.
Founded in 1928 as Middletown Golf Club, the course in 1934 was renamed Edgewood Country Club, which it retained for nearly a half-century, until it was blown up and redone by Pete Dye in 1982. What was rebranded in 1984 as TPC River Highlands went until the knife again five years later at the hands of architect Bobby Weed, with PGA Tour players Howard Twitty and Roger Maltbie consulting.
Today, TPC River Highlands is one of the shortest courses on Tour. At 6,841 yards and a par 70, the course sits on a tight 148-acre property typical of the Northeast. With rolling fairways, the course is lined with oak, sycamore and eastern white pine trees. Also typical for the area but somewhat rare on Tour, the course features Bentgrass from tee to green, with green surrounds featuring bluegrass fescue rough.
Roll this all together and it usually means the course crowns winners who are known as ball-strikers, with the ultimate combination of distance and artistry being three-time winner Bubba Watson (2010, ’15 and ’18). Last year’s winning score by Chez Reavie was 17-under-par, four shots ahead of Keegan Bradley and Zack Sucher
“I think we all need to remind ourselves that we’re all learning to live with this virus, and we all need to learn to live with this virus, both as individuals, as family members and certainly within our businesses,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan on sticking to COVID-19 protocols. “It’s pretty clear that this virus isn’t going anywhere.”