HARTFORD, Connecticut – The Travelers Championship has perhaps its best list of early player commitments ever and became part of a new major fundraiser of the PGA Tour which was announced this week.
The $7.2 million tournament will participate in Play Yellow, a fundraising initiative to generate funds for children’s hospitals across the country. The Tour’s goal for the campaign, unveiled during a press conference at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra, Fla., is to raise $100 million for pediatric care over the next five years. The Travelers Championship will have a special ticket promotion for the initiative March 18-24, with net proceeds benefiting the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
The Play Yellow initiative was inspired by Jack Nicklaus, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame who won a record 18 professional major championship. As a way to honor the son of a family friend who died of cancer in 1971, Nicklaus began wearing a yellow shirt during the final round of tournaments. For years, Nicklaus and his wife, Barbara, have focused their fundraising efforts on children’s hospitals.
As part of Play Yellow, March 18-24 will be designated as Play Yellow for Children’s Hospitals Week, and the Travelers Championship will offer four One Day Grounds Passes for the reduced price of $150.
“We are extremely proud to be joining the PGA Tour’s national Play Yellow campaign, which enables us to support a worthy cause here in Connecticut,” Travelers Championship tournament director Nathan Grube said. “By participating, we’re able to generate funds for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, which will help them deliver specialized and compassionate medical care to kids who need it throughout our state. Play Yellow is a great way to extend our tournament’s charitable drive, and we’re happy to partner with the Tour to help them reach their goal.”
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is a member of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and is based in Hartford with services throughout the state.
“We are delighted by the Play Yellow partnership and the opportunity to raise awareness of and funds for the unparalleled care provided to children, adolescents and young adults each day at Connecticut Children’s,” said Jim Shmerling, DHA, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Connecticut Children’s. “We are grateful to the Travelers Championship for dedicating revenue from ticket sales during Children’s Hospitals Week to Connecticut Children’s.”
“Generating money for local charities has always been the tournament’s primary mission, and it’s hard not to rally around something as important as pediatric care,” said Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Travelers. “It’s inspiring to see the golf world come together for this cause, and we hope this campaign moves people to support both Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and the Travelers Championship.”
In addition to the Travelers Championship and the PGA Tour, other Play Yellow partners include Titleist, Callaway, TaylorMade, FootJoy, Srixon, the TPC Network, PGA Tour Superstore, Golf Digest, Marriott Golf and Topgolf.
Players who have already committed to the tournament June 20-23 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell are Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Francesco Molinari, Tony Finau and defending champion Bubba Watson, all of whom are ranked in the Top 20. Koepka repeated as U.S. Open champion and later won the PGA Championship last year, while Molinari became the first Italian to capture a major championship when he won the British Open and then rallied to capture the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday. Watson will try to tie World Golf Hall of Famer Billy Casper for most Travelers Championship titles (four) this year.