HARTFORD, Conn. – The Travelers Championship added another marquee name this week when three-time winner Bubba Watson committed to his 15th appearance at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.
Besides the three victories, Watson has made a significant impact on Connecticut off the course as one of the tournament’s biggest supporters. He donated $100,000 to the Bruce Edwards Foundation for ALS Research Benefit Dinner in 2016 that honored the longtime PGA Tour caddie from Wethersfield who died of the dreaded disease. Watson also pledged $200,000 to enable the tournament to reach a then-record $2 million for charity for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford after his third victory in 2018 and gave $25,000 to help rebuild the Camp after a devastating fire on Feb. 12.
Watson and wife Angie Watson have made several visits to the Camp, founded by the late actor Paul Newman in 1988 where Watson’s name has become part of the nonprofit organization residential summer camp and year-round center serving children and their families coping with cancer and other serious illnesses and conditions.
“Bubba is a fan favorite, especially here in Connecticut,” tournament director Nathan Grube said in a statement. “Winning here for the first time has meant a lot to him and his family, and we appreciate his loyal support over the years. We’re looking forward to seeing him again in June.”
The first of Watson’s 12 PGA Tour victories came in the 2010 Travelers Championship when he beat Scott Verplank and Corey Pavin in a playoff. Moments after making a par on the second playoff hole, an emotional Watson buried his face into wife’s shoulder and then had difficulty doing an interview with CBS’ Peter Kostis. Watson also won in a playoff in 2015 when he beat Paul Casey on the first extra hole and then notched a third victory in 2018 when he shot a final-round, 7-under-par 63 to erase a six-stroke deficit and beat Casey, two-time Stewart Cink, J.B. Holmes and Beau Hossler by three. Only Hall of Famer Billy Casper, with four victories, has more wins than Watson in the history of the tournament that began in 1952.
Watson has won two major championships, the Masters in 2012 and 2014, and has competed on four U.S. Ryder Cup teams, two U.S. Presidents Cup teams and played in the 2016 Olympics.
“Bubba is one of the best advocates for the Travelers Championship,” said Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Travelers. “Bubba has not only embraced our event, but he has embraced our community by supporting tournament charities with incredibly generous personal donations. The Watson family has become part of our extended family, and we’re happy to have them back this summer.”
Watson joins defending champion, reigning Masters titlist and No. 1 ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 5 and U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and No. 7 Patrick Reed as early commitments to the $7.4 million tournament June 24-27 at TPC River Highlands. In February, officials announced the tournament will be played in front of spectators after being a TV-only event last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.