After another memorable and historic U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline (MA), won by 27-year old Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick, the PGA Tour stays in New England taking a 110-mile trek south to TPC River Highlands in Cromwell (CT) for this week’s Travelers Championship.
The close proximity appears to have helped with recruiting for the field because there are loads of big names lining up to play this week. that includes World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, recent winners Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, and fan-favorite Jordan Spieth.
It’s a full field of 156 golfers, similar to last week, but the cutline rules will return to PGA Tour standards which is top 65 and ties following two rounds of action.
The Travelers Championship was founded 70 years ago in 1952 as the Insurance City Open, and in 1967 the tournament was renamed the Greater Hartford Open, a title that was retained through 2003.
Since 1984 the tournament has been held at TPC River Highlands and is managed by the Greater Hartford Community Foundation. In 2018 the Travelers Championship earned the Players Choice Award for the second consecutive year, which is voted on by PGA Tour members for its services, hospitality, attendance and quality of the course.
For the tournament’s first three decades, it was played at Wethersfield Country Club, about five miles north of Cromwell. In 1984, after the PGA Tour bought Edgewood Country Club, the event moved to the new TPC of Connecticut in Cromwell. TPC River Highlands’ par-70, 6,841-yard course was completely redesigned by the legendary Pete Dye in 1982 and again in 1989 by noted golf course architect Bobby Weed and PGA TOUR Design Services, Inc., with PGA TOUR players Howard Twitty and Roger Matlbie serving as consultants.
The course meanders over 148 acres, with corridors of mature maple, oak, sycamore and eastern white pine trees framing gently rolling fairways. The course features Bentgrass from tee-to-green surrounded by bluegrass fescue roughs. Numerous lakes and ponds add to the layout’s beauty, with a well-balanced mixture of long and short holes creating a memorable golf experience.
The most notable stretch is Nos. 15-17 which play around a four-acre lake. When you include the home hole, the four-hole collection is, according to Stewart Cink, “four of the most exciting finishing holes in a group anywhere in the world.”
The player field includes four of the Top 5 players and six of the Top 10 in the world, including World No 1 Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy (3), No. 4 Patrick Cantlay; No. 5 Justin Thomas; No. 8 Viktor Hovland; No. 9 Sam Burns; No. 10 Jordan Spieth, the 2017 champion; No. 12 Xander Schauffele; No. 15 Tony Finau; No. 17 Joaquin Niemann, No. 19 Brooks Koepka and past champions Chez Reavie (2019), Russell Knox (2016), Kevin Streelman (2014), Marc Leishman (2012), Stewart Cink (1997).
Last year Harris English birdied the eighth hole of a memorable sudden death playoff to win, beating Kramer Hickok after both birdied the final hole of regulation to force the playoff.
At the Travelers Championship, fans can expect to witness another intense competition as players compete for $8.3 million – the tournament’s largest purse ever. After more than 70 years of thrilling golf moments, spectators who have come to know and love the Travelers Championship have a lot to look forward to this week.