2016 Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am Kicks Off Festivities

The Travelers Championship tees off in Cromwell Thursday, and Wednesday saw the traditional Celebrity Pro-Am.

One of the big professional names was South African Ernie Els.

Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie took a swing. With UConn Husky Kevin Ollie watching, some of the celebrity college coaches did too.

Jayden Showerda was collecting autographs. "Um Kevin Ollie, um, I forgot all the names!"

Women's basketball assistant coach Chris Dailey signed too and a small group of fans helped her off the short tee box.

"Yes she is the only woman playing," said Jo Leboeuf of Longmeadow, Mass. "I would like to see more women playing in this event for sure - that's why we're here to support Chris Dailey."

Her friend Michelle Boudreau said, "It's great to see strong women play and just represent!"

The golf course is boasting $3.5 million-worth of improvements, including a longer, wider bunker on the ninth hole.

Kerry Johnson lives along the course in Cromwell and knows how it plays.

"It now comes into play for the pros, because the pros will off the tee box, their drive? It'll probably catch the end of the bunker, where last year it didn't," she said.

Many of the amateurs had to work their way out of the longer, wider bunker. Golf fans will see other improvements too. This year at the Metro Hartford Alliance Fan Zone, there's green grass on the ground.

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