World No. 1 Rory McIlroy Commits to Travelers Championship

Rory McIlroy has committed to teeing it up in the 2023 Travelers Championship June 22-25 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell (CT).

HARTFORD, Conn. – Being one of the PGA Tour’s new “elevated” status events began to pay dividends for the Travelers Championship this week when Rory McIlroy, the No. 1 ranked player in the world, committed to Connecticut’s biggest sporting event in June.

McIlroy, 33, won his 23rd tournament worldwide, including four major championships, in the DP World Tour’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday when he birdied the last two holes for a one-stroke victory. The personable Northern Irishman is one of the most popular players in the game, including at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, where he has finished in the Top 20 in his four appearances in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2022, when he shot an 8-under-par 62 in the first round.

Rory McIlroy clinched his third PGA Tour FedEx Cup title in 2022 and pocketed the $18 million prize money that ranks him 6th all-time behind Woods, Mickelson, Johnson, Furyk and Singh.

McIlroy has reclaimed the No. 1 ranking while being an outspoken critic of players who left the PGA Tour for Saudi-backed LIV Golf League. He is part of the “elevated” tournaments in which the Travelers Championship will have a $20 million purse and is expected to get all of the top 20 players in the Player Impact Program, which ranks players on success as well as their popularity.

“We’re going to get a deep, star-studded player field, so hearing that Rory has committed is a great start and wonderful news for our tournament and our fans,” tournament director Nathan Grube said. “Rory has enjoyed coming to Connecticut and he’s played well at TPC River Highlands. Late June might seem far off, but the excitement for this year’s tournament is already building. If you’re someone who roots for Rory and appreciates watching the best players in the world, you need to make plans to be part of the action here.”

In response to LIV Golf, the PGA Tour has designated certain tournaments as “elevated,” likely on a rotating basis. The Travelers Championship, which is June 22-25 and raised more than $2.5 million for local charities in 2022, will more than double its purse for this first year of elevated tournaments.

“Rory is a great friend who has been incredibly supportive of our tournament, and we appreciate the relationship we’ve built with him,” said Andy Bessette, executive VP and chief administrative officer at Travelers. “Having Rory here competing against the top players in the world will really take this year’s Travelers Championship to the next level. It’s a world-class event that provides meaningful support for our communities and hundreds of local charities.”

A three-time PGA Tour Player of the Year, McIlroy won the U.S. Open in 2011, the PGA Championship in 2012 and 14 and The Open Championship in 2014. He won three events in the 2022 season, including the Tour Championship that earned him his record third FedExCup points title.

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.

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