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The First Look: Travelers Championship

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The top four players in the FedExCup standings will play in the Travelers Championship, led by No. 1 Scottie Scheffler.

Harris English is once again defending his 2021 title, which he won in an eight-hole playoff over Kramer Hickok.

COUNTRYSIDE GRADES: English returns to action after making the cut at the US Open. He was on the shelf from January until the Memorial Tournament Presented by Workday while recovering from hip surgery… Scottie Scheffler, who finished second at The Country Club, will look to extend his substantial lead in the FedExCup and in the Official World Ranking of Golf… Second-ranked FedExCup Sam Burns is also ready to play… Others in the field include 2022 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, last season’s FedExCup champion Patrick Cantlay, and Rory McIlroy, who is playing his fourth straight week on TOUR. He’s third in the FedExCup and second in the world after finishing T5 at the US Open… Cantlay shot 60 at TPC River Highlands in 2011 as an amateur… Jordan Spieth, who won the Travelers in 2017, entered late Friday for afternoon… University of Texas standout Cole Hammer will make his TOUR debut as a pro… Other young stars on the Travelers will include Ben James, Michael Thorbjornsen and Haskins Award winner Chris Gotterup. James, from Milford, Connecticut, is the top-ranked junior in the country, while Chris Gotterup won the Haskins Award as this year’s top college golf player. Gotterup, now a pro, made the cut at the US Open… Others in the field include four-time Grand Slam winner Brooks Koepka, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and US Open outsider Joel Dahmen, who finished T10 at The Country Club.

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FEDEXCUP: The winner receives 500 FedExCup points.

GRADE: TPC River Highlands, par 70, 6,852 yards. One of the shortest courses on the TOUR produces low scores but still presents a tough challenge for the best in the game. This marks the 70th anniversary of the Travelers Championship, with TPC River Highlands hosting the TOUR for 39 years. Bobby Weed was the last architect to work on improving the Connecticut course with TOUR players Howard Twitty and Roger Matlbie as consultants. The key stretch comes when golfers teeter around a four-acre lake at numbers 15-17. TPC River Highlands was where Jim Furyk shot the lowest round on the TOUR, a 58 in 2016.

ARGUMENTS: This is the first year since before the COVID-19 pandemic that the Travelers will have a full attendance…There is a lot of power on the field at TPC River Highlands, with six of the top 10 in the world playing…The Travelers have a track record of giving opportunities to the bright young stars of the game. This year will be no different with James, Thorbjornsen, Gotterup and Hammer in the field. Previous exemptions have gone to Sahith Theegala, John Pak, Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland and Cantlay, among others… Every champion in the Travelers since 2016 has played the US Open the week before. English finished third at Torrey Pines a year ago before winning at TPC River Highlands… The Travelers have gone to extra holes 25 times, with last year’s eight-hole playoff being the longest.

72 HOLE RECORD: 258, Kenny Perry (2009)

18 HOLE REGISTRATION: 58, Jim Furyk (fourth round, 2016).

LAST TIME: Harris English emerged from the second-longest playoff in TOUR history to claim the 2021 Travelers. After English and Kramer Hickok birdied the 72nd hole in regulation time, the duo went back and forth for seven holes before they English eventually birdied the eighth bonus hole from 5 feet. Hickok had missed a 36-foot shot just before. It was the second English win of the season. Hickok’s runner-up finish was the best result of his PGA TOUR career. Marc Leishman finished third.


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