The PGA Tour heads for Connecticut this week and the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. Bubba Watson defends a title he won last year in a playoff against Scott Verplank and Corey Pavin.
TPC River Highlands was originally laid out in 1928 by Robert J. Ross and Maurice Kearney. At that time it was known as Edgewood Country Club. The course was redesigned by Pete Dye in 1982 and again by Bobby Weed in 1989. At just 6,841 yards it’s one of the shorter layouts on the PGA Tour circuit. In fact, in 2011 only two courses on the schedule are shorter than River Highlands.
The Travelers Championship has had a number of different guises since it was first contested in 1952. It began life as the Insurance City Open and, for a time, was hosted by Sammy Davis Jnr. Over the years there have been some famous winners of the event including Arnold Palmer, Charles Sifford, Lee Trevino and Greg Norman.
Last season Bubba Watson came from six shots behind to force a playoff against Scott Verplank and 2010 Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin. Watson secured the win at the second extra hole – his first PGA Tour victory.
Phil Mickelson is the only man to have won the tournament in consecutive years, a feat he accomplished in 2001 and 2002. Watson will be looking to alter that fact when he tees it up tomorrow.
Venue: TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut
Date: Jun 23-26
Course stats: par 70, 6,841 yards
Purse: $6,000,000 Winner: $1,080,000
Defending Champion: Bubba Watson (-14)
Thursday 23 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 24 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 25 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Sunday 26 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 8pm
David Toms – He’s faltered a little in the last few weeks but he was on incredible form at the end of May, winning at Colonial and finishing runner-up in The Players. A shorter course tends to suit Toms and he was second here in 2009.
Zach Johnson – The former Masters champion looks to be coming back into form. He threatened to threaten last week at Congressional and has two top-10s on Tour since the start of May.
Bubba Watson – The defending champion will be looking for a good result here. He hasn’t played well since winning in New Orleans but returning to this event could give him a little kick-start.
Key hole: 13th. A relatively short par 5 at just 523 yards. Everyone in the field should have the opportunity to get home in two, however, water waits short and a dangerous bunker lies over the back. It’s a real risk and reward hole.
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