After a shortened break because of the rain-delayed US Open, the PGA Tour heads for Connecticut this week and the Travelers Championship. Stewart Cink won here last year and is looking to become the first man to successfully defend the title.
At last year’s Travelers Championship Stewart Cink secured a narrow victory over Tommy Armour III and the defending champion Hunter Mahan. Cink had to get up and down from the back of the 18th green to win by a single stroke.
The Travelers Championship has had a number of different guises since it was first contested in 1952. Over the years there have been some notable winners including Arnold Palmer, Charles Sifford, Lee Trevino and Greg Norman.
Phil Mickelson is the only man to have won the tournament in consecutive years, a feat he accomplished in 2001 and 2002. Cink will be looking to alter that fact when he tees it up tomorrow.
Venue: TPC River Highlands, Connecticut
Course stats: par 70, 6,844 yards
Purse: $6,000,000, Winner: $1,080,000
Defending Champion: Stewart Cink (-18)
Stewart Cink – Last year’s winner, Cink has an excellent record in this tournament. The 36-year-old has five top-10 finishes at TPC River Highlands including two victories.
Hunter Mahan – Winner in 2007 and runner-up in 2008, Mahan clearly enjoys this layout. He’s also fresh off the back of a solid performance in the US Open.
Kenny Perry – He always seems to contend on the PGA Tour at the moment. He has seven top-10 finishes in this event and he’s already won twice on tour this year.
Key hole: 13th. A relatively short par five 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: Putting – 2007 winner Hunter Mahan averaged just 27 putts per round in the week of his victory. Most of the field will find a high percentage of greens in regulation so it’s the man who’s on fire with the flat-stick who’ll pull away from the field.