HARTFORD, Conn. – During the Travelers Championship Media Day last week, Andy Bessette, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at the insurance magnate, insisted No. 1 ranked and Masters champion Jon Rahm would be coming to play in Connecticut’s biggest sporting event in June.
When the festivities concluded, Bessette and tournament director Nathan Grube headed for a flight to Charlotte, N.C., to recruit players at the Wells Fargo Championship, another of the PGA Tour’s new “designated” tournaments. This week, Bessette’s pledge was fulfilled when Rahm, winner of four PGA Tour events already this year, committed to the tournament, assuring all of the Top 6 players in the Official World Golf Ranking will be at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell on June 22-25.
Rahm joins reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year Scottie Scheffler (No. 2), four-time major champion Rory McIlroy (No. 3), 2021 PGA Tour Player of the Year Patrick Cantlay (No. 4), defending champion Xander Schauffele (No. 5) and Max Homa (No. 6). Other leading players to have committed include recent Mexico Open champion Tony Finau (No. 11) and major champions Justin Thomas (No. 14), Collin Morikawa (No. 16) and Vermont native Keegan Bradley (No. 23), along with Cameron Young (No. 15) and the 2022 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
“We’ve been auditioning for this for 17 years,” Bessette said, alluding to how long Travelers has the event’s title sponsor.
“We’ll have an impressive player field for fans to watch and root for, and I know a number of them will be pulling hard for Jon,” Grube said in a release. “We want the best in the world coming to Connecticut, and Jon has established himself at No. 1 by having an incredible year so far.”
Rahm’s victories have come in the Sentry Tournament of Champions, The American Express, The Genesis Invitational and the Masters. He won by four shots at Augusta National to secure his second major championship after winning the 2021 U.S. Open. In 12 PGA Tour tournaments this year, Rahm has eight Top-10 finishes, including second at the Mexico Open in his most recent start that earned him $839,300 and enabled him to set the Tour record for money won in a season. He has $14,462,840, surpassing Scheffler’s $14,046,910 in 25 starts last year and could pass $50 million with nine more “designated” tournaments to be played, including three major championships. His consistent success has put Rahm at the top of the FedExCup points standings.
Rahm has won at least one tournament on the PGA Tour every season since turning professional in 2016, which ties him with Thomas for the longest active streak with a victory. As an amateur at Arizona State University, he won 11 tournaments and was No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking for 60 weeks. In 2015 and 2016, Rahm won the Ben Hogan Award for the best college golfer in the United States.
Internationally, Rahm represented his native Spain at the 2016 World Cup and was a member of Team Europe at the 2018 and 2021 Ryder Cups. Rahm also has eight tournament victories on the DP World Tour, with his last win coming in 2022 at the DP World Tour Championship, an event that he has won three times.
“We knew Jon was going to be an outstanding player, even as an amateur and a young professional, when we gave him sponsor’s exemptions in 2015 and 2016,” Bessette said. “We’ve followed his career closely since then and have seen him achieve greatness, so we’re thrilled with his commitment and couldn’t be happier to have him join us once again.”
This will be Rahm’s fourth appearance at the Travelers Championship. In addition to 2015, when he made the cut as an amateur, he played in 2016 (tie for 25th) and 2020 (T37), when the event was held during the COVID-19 and no spectators could attend.
Bessette is confident that the Travelers will be a “designated” tournament again next year. The PGA Tour likely won’t announce all of the designated events for next year — along with the 2024 schedule — until sometime during the summer.
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