Featuring a compelling mix of youngsters and established stars, the Travelers Championship kicks off from TPC River Highlands Thursday.
While it's not a complete field just a week after the U.S. Open, the popular tournament features an array of top-ranked golfers, from past winner Bubba Watson to top-10 machine Matt Kuchar to Keegan Bradley and Jason Day. According to PGATour.com, 80 of the 156 players in the field have won on the PGA Tour.
On the flip side of things, several players will be making their professional debuts in Cromwell, Connecticut, per the tournament's Twitter feed:
We're honored to have Patrick Rodgers, Cameron Wilson, Bobby Wyatt & Oliver Goss make their professional debuts here at the #TravelersChamp.— TravelersChamp (@TravelersChamp) June 17, 2014
The world's top-ranked amateur, Stanford's Patrick Rodgers, talked about the opportunity:
So thankful for the opportunity to compete an chase my dream this week @TravelersChamp. Ready for a great week of golf!— Patrick Rodgers (@PRodgersGolf) June 17, 2014
Let's take a closer look at everything you need to know.
Dates: Thursday, June 19 - Sunday, June 22, 2014
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday and Friday), CBS (Saturday and Sunday)
Course Info: Par 70, 6,841 yards
FedEx Cup Points: 500
Defending Champion: Ken Duke
Prize Money: Purse: $6.2 million; Winning Share: $1.116 million
Notable Tee Times
Note: You can find an entire list of all Round 1 and 2 tee times here, courtesy of PGATour.com.
|Tee Time (ET)||Golfer||Golfer||Golfer|
|7:50 a.m.||Ben Crane||Bubba Watson||Hunter Mahan|
|8 a.m.||Jason Day||Keegan Bradley||Erik Compton|
|12:50 p.m.||Matt Kuchar||Dustin Johnson||Ken Duke|
|12:50 p.m.||Harris English||Ryan Moore||Marc Leishman|
|1 p.m.||Patrick Reed||Zach Johnson||Sergio Garcia|
Ben Crane understands the significance of that first group:
Still, the group teeing it up right after the JT-less 'N Sync is undeniably captivating: two of the top five favorites in Day and Bradley along with Erik Compton, the two-time heart transplant survivor who just finished second at the U.S. Open.
Who's your pick this week?
The list undoubtedly begins with Watson.
After notching his first PGA Tour title at TPC River Highlands back in 2010, he followed up with a runner-up in 2012 and a fourth-place finish last year. For those who struggle at math, that's three top fours in his last four starts at this tournament.
He recently talked about the upcoming week, via PGA Tour's Twitter feed:
Still, there won't be a shortage of competition.
Matt Kuchar, who is third in the FedEx Cup standings, has already amassed nine top 10s this season. Perhaps more impressively, he has 13 top 25s in 16 events.
From now on, players will no longer be described as consistent. They will be Kuchar.
Jason Day is another one to watch. He struggled a bit earlier in the season with a thumb injury, but a fourth-place finish at the U.S. Open proved he's fully healthy.
"It's kind of out of my head now," he said of his left thumb injury, via Golf Digest's Alex Myers. "So I'm not really thinking about it."
Those are just a few on a long list of strong candidates, though, and the action in Connecticut at the birdie-friendly course should be highly entertaining.