The PGA Tour travels to Connecticut this week for the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. Kenny Perry looks to defend the title but he’ll face stiff competition from a strong field.
The Travelers Championship has had a number of different guises since it was first contested in 1952 and from 1967 until 2003 it was known as the Greater Hartford Open. Over the years there have been some notable winners including Arnold Palmer, Charles Sifford, Lee Trevino and Greg Norman.
The course has an interesting history dating back to its original construction in 1928. Back then it was known as Edgewood Country Club and it remained untouched until 1982 when Pete Dye was employed to redesign the layout in order for it to host the Greater Hartford Open of 1984. Bobby Tweed completed a secondary redesign in 1989.
With natural amphitheatres and numerous viewing points, this is a great course for spectators and it attracts more visitors than any other regular PGA Tour event, save for The Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.
Last season at TPC River Highlands, veteran Kenny Perry set a tournament record four-round total of 22-under-par to win by three from Paul Goydos and David Toms. He fired a 61 in round one and finished with a 63. Perry, now just a month away from his 50th birthday, will return to River Highlands to defend the title. He’ll be joined by a host of top players including Padraig Harrington, Retief Goosen, Justin Rose and Matt Kuchar.
Venue: TPC River Highlands, Connecticut
Date: Jun 24-27
Course stats: par 70, 6,844 yards
Purse: $6,000,000 Winner: $1,080,000
Defending Champion: Kenny Perry (-22)
Thursday 24 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 25 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 26 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Sunday 27 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Hunter Mahan – He may not have shown great form over the last month, but he’s a true specialist when it comes to TPC River Highlands. His last three finishes here have been – 1st, tied 2nd and tied 4th.
Bo Van Pelt – One of the most consistent performers on this year’s PGA Tour. He leads the circuit in ball striking and finished in the top-10 in this event last season. Boxes… Ticked.
Rickie Fowler – He’s come close twice this season with second places in Phoenix and at The Memorial. He looks likely to secure his first victory at some point in 2010 and this could be the event he does it.
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.
Skills required: Going low. This is one of the more straightforward courses on the PGA Tour schedule – it ranked as the 15th easiest track in 2009. Like Kenny Perry last year, the winner will probably be better than 20-under-par for 72 holes. Expect to see plenty of rounds in the low 60s.