NOTABLE FIRST-ROUND PAIRINGS
7:10: Bob Estes, Jon Curran, Michael Kim
7:50 Jonathan Vagas, Ryan Moore, Padraig Harrington
8 a.m.: D.A. Points, Aaron Baddeley, Zach Johnson
8:30: Hunter Mahan, Ryan Palmer, Cameron Tringale
12:20 p.m.: Ken Duke, Jonathan Byrd, Dominic Bozzelli
12:40: Patton Kizzire, Adam Hadwin, Stewart Cink
12:50: Marc Leishman, Jordan Spieth, Russell Knox
1 p.m.: Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas
1:10: Andrew Landry, Patrick Cantlay, Jim Furyk
1:20: Chad Campbell, Derek Fathauer, Sam Saunders
1:40: Rob Oppenheim, Ben Silverman, Zechen Dou
1:50: Matt Atkins, Andrew Yun, James Driscoll
7:10: Keegan Bradley, Kelly Kraft, Beau Hossler
7:20: Matt Jones, Rory Sabbatini, Richy Werensky
7:50: Jason Day, Xander Schauffele, Daniel
8 a.m.: Brooks Koepka, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed
8:10: Charley Hoffman, Graeme McDowell, Matt Every
8:20: J.J. Henry. Geoff Ogilvy, Kevin Streelman
8:40: Retief Goosen, Keith Mitchell, Talor Gooch
9 a.m.: Nate Lashley, Ethan Tracy, Adam D’Amario
12:30 p.m.: Bryson DeChambeau, Chris Stroud, Smylie Kaufman
12:40: Brian Stuard, Bill Haas, Nick Watney
1:10: Paul Casey, Kyle Stanley, Chesson Hadley
1:50: Brett Stegmaier, Will Claxton, Robert Diaz
FORMER GREATER HARTFORD OPEN CHAMPION HUBERT GREEN DIES
Two-time major winner Hubert Green, who shook off a death threat en route to a U.S. Open triumph, died from complications after a lengthy battle with throat cancer on Wednesday. He was 71.
Green was a dominant force during the 1970s and 1980s when he won 19 times on the PGA Tour, including at the 1977 U.S. Open and 1985 PGA Championship, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007.
His one-shot U.S. Open triumph at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, came despite being informed by tournament officials after 14 holes that a death threat was made against him saying he would be shot when he reached the 15th green.
“He was perhaps best known for his win at the 1977 U.S. Open, where he received a death threat during the round, but continued on and ultimately captured the title,” Hall of Fame President Jack Peter said on the shrine’s website. “A native of Alabama, Hubert had been battling cancer for more than a decade, and passed away last night in the company of his family.”
Green won the 1981 Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open at Wethersfield Country Club in a playoff with Bobby Clampett, Fred Couples and Roger Maltbie. Green, who is survived by his wife and three sons, also represented the United States on three Ryder Cup teams and was undefeated in singles play.
PGA TOUR-FACEBOOK PACT
The PGA Tour announced an agreement with Facebook to distribute exclusive Saturday and Sunday live competition coverage, on a free basis, from eight tournaments, starting with the Travelers Championship and leading into the FedExCup Playoffs for the 2017-18 season. Airing on Facebook Watch in the United States, the coverage will be produced under the PGA TOUR LIVE brand and, similar to the Tour’s subscription OTT service, will follow two featured groups that tee off in the morning of the third and fourth rounds.
The PGA Tour will uniquely produce this coverage for Facebook’s social video platform with interactive elements aimed to engage fans. For example, the coverage will incorporate fan questions and comments.
The Facebook Watch coverage begins Saturday and Sunday from TPC River Highlands, with the other events in 2018 being Quicken Loans National; A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier; John Deere Classic; RBC Canadian Open; World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational; Wyndham Championship; and The Northern Trust.
INSPIRATIONAL HONORARY CHAIRMEN
Three students involved with the Hole In The Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Conn., are the tournament’s honorary co-chairmen: Tyler Backus of Fairfield, Carly Demartino of Granby and Jeremy Brown.
Backus hit the honorary first tee shot during the Opening Ceremonies on Monday and Demartino spoke eloquently about how the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp has given her strength and hope in her challenges with brain cancer, which was diagnosed in 2015.
“Initially people from the Gang’s hospital outreach program would visit me in my room to do crafts, play games and just hang out,” said Demartino, who had just undergone surgery to remove a tumor and begin chemotherapy and radiation at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. “The best thing about their visits was done or a game was over. I always had the same people week after week.
“I liked having that personal connection with people who were already familiar with my history and genuinely cared about my recovery. It was like having one of my friends visit. I am amazed that my hospital outreach specialists still remember my name when I see them at events.”
The charity-based Hole in the Wall Camp was founded by the late actor Paul Newman in 1988 to help children with serious illnesses. The camp provides “a different kind of healing” by giving sick kids a chance to be outdoors and play like other kids. And it’s free thanks to donations from the Travelers Championship and others.
“We say thank you to them as often as we can,” tournament director Nathan Grube said. “What they do at camp enforces us to do better because we want to help what’s happening. It challenges us and drives us every year to say, ‘How are we going to grow the impact of the tournament?’ ”
The three honorary co-chairmen among thousands of children the camp helps each year through the summer programs and outreach work. The summer sessions run from June to August, with an estimated 1,100 children being served this summer.