HARTFORD, Conn. – Despite being scheduled to be the third of four PGA Tour events to be played without spectators after the resumption of play, the Travelers Championship added another marquee name this week with a commitment from Brooks Koepka.
The former No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Rankings is the first major addition to the $7.4 million tournament since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down many activities, including the PGA Tour after the first round of The Players Championship on March 12. The Tour is scheduled to resume play on June 11-14 with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
The third-ranked Koepka gives Connecticut’s biggest sporting event at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell on June 25-28 five of the top eight players in the world rankings, led by No. 1 Rory McIlroy, the 2019 FedExCup champion. Others who previously committed are No. 4 Justin Thomas, No. T7 Patrick Cantlay, No. T7 Patrick Reed, No. 13 Bryson DeChambeau and Bubba Watson, who will try to tie Hall of Famer Billy Casper for most tournament wins (four). Chez Reavie is defending champion after ending an 11-year victory drought last year with a four-stroke victory over Vermont native Keegan Bradley and Zach Sucher.
The 30-year-old Koepka has won seven PGA Tour events, including four major championships in eight starts in 2017, 2018 and 2019. His best finish in four Travelers Championship appearances is a tie for ninth in 2016. He was ranked No. 1 when he played in Cromwell last year.
“Brooks has a reputation for consistent success, especially in the biggest events and major championships,” tournament director Nathan Grube said. “He’s played at such a high level, and we’re thrilled to have him compete at TPC River Highlands next month.”
Koepka was the PGA Tour Player of the Year in 2018, when he won the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. His victory at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Long Island that year made him the first player to win back-to-back U.S. Open titles since Curtis Strange in 1988 and 1989. Koepka’s first major championship win came in the 2017 U.S. Open, and he also repeated as PGA Championship winner in 2019. His other Tour wins came in the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2015 and THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES and the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in 2019.
Koepka, from West Palm Beach, Fla., played college golf at Florida State, turned pro in 2012 and spent the first three years of his career primarily on the European Challenge Tour and European Tour, winning five times. He also was a member of the past two U.S. Ryder Cup teams.
“It will be great to watch Brooks play at the Travelers Championship this year,” said Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Travelers. “Our goal every year, in addition to raising money for charity, is welcoming the world’s best players to Connecticut. Brooks is a wonderful addition to our already solid player field.”
The tournament has raised more than $42 million for local charities since it began in 1952 as the Insurance City Open at Wethersfield Country Club, including a record $2.1 million last year that increased the total to nearly $20 million since Travelers became the title sponsor in 2007. The event received the PGA Tour’s “Players Choice” award in 2017 and 2018 and proudly supports the Tour’s Tradition of Giving Back by donating 100 percent of net proceeds to charities, with the major beneficiary being the Hole In The Wall Camp in Ashford founded by the late actor Paul Newman.
The Travelers Championship will be seen on Golf Channel (Thursday–Sunday) and CBS (Saturday and Sunday). Due to the pandemic, the PGA Tour announced the tournament will be a TV-only event, though people hope things improve enough to allow spectators to attend.
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