World No. 1, defending champ Dustin Johnson headlines Travelers field

Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 ranked player in the world for the past 42 weeks, is back to defend his 2020 title at the Travelers Championship that tees off June 24-27 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Travelers Championship added several significant names for next week’s tournament at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.

Among those committing on the Friday deadline were past champions Kevin Streelman (2014), who finished one stroke behind No. 1-ranked Dustin Johnson last year, Chez Reavie (2019), Russell Knox (2010), Stewart Cink (1997 and 2008), Hunter Mahan (2007) and Fairfield native J.J. Henry (2006). Cink (Safeway Open, RBC Heritage), No. 5 Bryson DeChambeau (U.S. Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational) and No. 7 Patrick Cantlay (ZOZO Championship, Memorial) are the only players with two victories this season, and all are in the Travelers field. Cantlay also leads the FedExCup points standings
Henry, the only Connecticut native to win the state’s premier sporting event, received a sponsors’ exemption, along with Nick Watney, John Pak, Davis Thompson, Austin Eckroat and Chase Koepka, the younger brother of 10th-ranked Brooks Koepka. Chase earned a spot in last year’s tournament in the open qualifier but withdrew as a precaution after Brooks’ caddie tested positive for COVID-19. When that occurred, tournament director Nathan Grube promised Chase an exemption this year.

Bryson DeChambeau, a six-time winner on the PGA TOUR currently ranked No. 5 in the world, will tee it up in the Travelers Championship scheduled June 24-27 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Other notable late entries included U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker, major championship winners Adam Scott, Zach Johnson, Francesco Molinari and Jason Dufner, No. 17 Scottie Scheffler, No. 31 Joaquin Niemann, No. 32 Matthew Wolff, Brandt Snedeker, Ian Poulter, Kevin Kisner, Ryan Moore, Charley Hoffman, Rory Sabbatini, Kevin Kisner, J.B. Holmes, Garrick Higgo, who won the Palmetto Championship last Sunday, and No. 16 Daniel Berger, who lost on the first playoff hole in 2017 when Jordan Spieth holed a 61-foot bunker shot to become the only player to win on such a shot in a playoff in PGA Tour history.
Other leading marquee players who previously committed were Dustin Johnson, World Golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson, ranked 30th and the only back-to-back winner in tournament history (2001-02) who became the oldest major championship titlist (50) when he captured the PGA Championship on May 23; No. 8 Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, who tied for second in the PGA Championship, No. 14 Tony Finau, No. 19 Paul Casey, who tied for fourth in the PGA, No. 21 Abraham Ancer, former No. 1 Jason Day, 2012 titlist Marc Leishman, former U.S. Open and Olympic titlist Justin Rose, Vermont native Keegan Bradley, who tied for second in 2019, Max Homa, Cameron Smith and Bubba Watson, who will try to tie World Golf Hall of Famer Billy Casper for most tournament wins (four).

The field includes 14 players who have won major championships, and players competing in this week’s U.S. Open had until the conclusion of second-round play to officially commit to the tournament, so the list of names could be subject to change. The final four spots in the 156-man field that will be vying for a $1.368 million first prize in the $7.4 million tournament will be determined in the open qualifier Monday at Ellington Ridge Country Club.

After spectators weren’t allowed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 10,000 can attend this year from the pro-am on Wednesday through the four rounds of the tournament. All tickets must be purchased in advance as there will be none sold at the gate. Tickets are extremely limited, and general admission for the final round are already sold out.

The tournament will be televised by Golf Channel (3–6 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 1–3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) and CBS (3–6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday).

Worked as sports writer for The Hartford Courant for 38 years before retiring in 2008. His major beats at the paper were golf, the Hartford Whalers, University of Connecticut men’s and women’s basketball, Yale football, United States and World Figure Skating Championships and ski columnist. He has covered every PGA Tour stop in Connecticut since 1971, along with 30 Masters, 25 U.S. Opens, four PGA Championships, 12 Deutsche Bank Championships, 15 Westchester (N.Y.) Classics and four Ryder Cups. He has won several Golf Writers Association of America writing awards, including a first place for a feature on John Daly, and was elected to the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame in 2009. He also worked for the Connecticut Whale hockey team for two years when they were renamed by former Hartford Whalers managing general partner Howard Baldwin, who had become the marketing director of the Hartford Wolf Pack, the top affiliate of the New York Rangers.

Leave a Reply

Notify of