Travelers Championship Begins in Cromwell

The 2019 Travelers Championship Tournament is underway. The opening ceremony took place at TPC River Highlands Monday and Gov. Ned Lamont helped tee things off. 

“This tournament is a big piece of the Connecticut soul,” the governor said. “People are going to be tuned in, it’s a big deal.” 

Thousands of people are expected to attend what should be a very competitive tournament. 

Players will compete during four rounds from Thursday to Sunday. Among the start-studded list of entrants are Phil Mickelson, defending champion Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka. 

“It’s an amazing field, isn’t it? Almost everybody is here,” Lamont said. “It just shows you how important and well managed this tournament is.” 

Tournament Director Nathan Grube said this year’s field is among the strongest in tournament history. 

“You’ve got the number-one ranked player in the world with Brooks Koepka. You’ve got Phil Mickelson coming back. You got Bubba trying to tie the record of being a four-time winner,” Grube said. “From a golf standpoint, people are just ecstatic about it.” 

The PGA stars will be shining. The question is whether the sun be doing the same. 

Organizers are watching the weather closely and know it could impact the tournament. Grube said they have many contingency plans but are also counting of fans being flexible. 

“What I like is, we are an all-day event,” Grube said. “If there’s weather in the morning, people come in the afternoons. If there’s weather in the afternoon, people come out in the morning.” 

The fairways have been trimmed, the greens finely manicured, the course is meticulous and organizers are ready to get things started. They are also eager to show off a brand-new clubhouse and several fan-friendly course improvements. 

“People I know who’ve been coming to this tournament for 20 years are going to come out and go, ‘Wait a minute. I don’t even recognize this,’” Grube said. 

The week’s schedule is busy. There’s a practice round Tuesday. The Celebrity Pro-Am is Wednesday and the first round of the Traveler’s Championship tees off Thursday morning. 

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