HARTFORD, Conn. – No one has supported the PGA Tour’s annual stop in Connecticut since 1952 more than Bubba Watson.
Watson won his first of 12 PGA Tour titles in a playoff with Scott Verplank and Corey Pavin in the 2010 Travelers Championship and then sobbed on the shoulder of wife Angie in an emotional response to his father Gerry only months from dying of throat cancer.
After committing to the tournament again this week, Watson will have another shot at tying Hall of Famer Billy Casper’s record of four wins on June 25-28 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.
“Bubba has become synonymous with our tournament through the success he’s had on the golf course and his great generosity off it,” tournament director Nathan Grube said. “Many of the best moments in Travelers Championship history involve Bubba and his family, and we are glad to have him back in 2020.”
In 13 tournament appearances, Watson has three wins, a tie for second (2012), a fourth (2013) and a tie for sixth (2008). Watson beat Paul Casey on the first playoff hole in 2015 and overcame a six-stroke deficit in the final round to win by two shots in 2018. He also won the Masters in 2012 and 2014.
Off the course, Watson has taken an active role in supporting tournament charities. At the 2016 Travelers Championship, Watson donated $100,000 to the Bruce Edwards Foundation Benefit Dinner, which raised more than $1.3 million for research in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Edwards, a Wethersfield native, was a PGA Tour caddie for 30 years, mostly for Hall of Famer Tom Watson.
Following his win in 2018, Watson donated $200,000 of his $1,260,000 winnings to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, enabling the tournament to generate a record $2 million for charity. The tournament broke that record last year when it raised more than $2.1 million. Bubba and Angie have toured the camp several times, with part of the facility named in his honor because of the large amount of money that he has donated to the tournament that he considers his second home.
“It is such an honor to be part of this tournament; they’ve always made me feel like family,” Watson said. “Every year they’re making improvements, making the tournament better, growing the charitable donations, doing more for the families, caddies and fans. I can’t say enough about how impressive this tournament is and how much they impact the community by giving back.”
Travelers and Hole in the Wall Gang Camp have often thanked Watson for his generosity.
“Bubba has such a big heart; you can see that by his actions and his passion for the charitable initiatives that matter to the tournament,” said Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Travelers. “He genuinely cares about the success of our event and the local nonprofit organizations that benefit.”
Watson joins second-ranked Rory McIlroy and No. 4 Justin Thomas as early commitments to the $7.4 million tournament. Chez Reavie will be the defending championship after ending an 11-year victory drought in 2019.
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