The weather is warming up and summer is nigh. It must be time for some big time professional golf.
The region has three professional tournaments scheduled for early summer, the most notable being the Travelers’ Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Ct. slated for June 21-27.
In addition to attracting some of the biggest galleries on Tour, the event annually draws a top field and this year will be no exception. Defending champ Kenny Perry along with such luminaries as V.J. Singh, Chad Campbell, Stuart Appleby, Stewart Cink, Hunter Mahan, Anthony Kim, Justin Rose and David Toms are among the early commitments.
This year’s tournament has a purse of $6 million, with $1.08 million going to the winner. Perry fired a sterling total of 258, 22-under par, to capture last year’s event in style. It was his 14th win on Tour.
The event has raised some $28 million for charities throughout its long history.
The TPC at River Highlands is a magnificent venue at which to watch a tournament, with hills lining many of the fairways and mounding around the greens that accommodate spectators. The finishing four holes, three of which involve water, serve as one of the best stretches of closing holes on Tour.
The tournament is often won or lost on the 17th, which has water all the way down the right side to make the drive dicey. The approach is also over water to a sloping green. Leaders make anything from birdies to double bogeys here and the momentum can swing dramatically on Sunday.
There’s a celebrity pro-am on Wednesday.
Following close on the heels of The Traveler’s Championship is the annual get together of Tour players Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade’s friends in Rhode Island. The popular CVS Caremark Charity Classic will be held June 27-29 at Rhode Island Country Club.
There’s always a great group of pros from the PGA, Champions and LPGA tours taking part in the event, which is played as a two-man team tournament. Last year’s tourney was won by the tandem of Toms and Nick Price, who fired a 15-under total, including a stellar 61 on the second day of the two-day event.
The tournament is Rhode Island’s largest chartable sports event and during the past 10 years the Classic has raised $12 million for charities throughout the region.
There’s also a celebrity pro-am held during the festivities along with other fun events, such as long drive and skins games for the pros.
The Duramed Futures Tour rolls into Connecticut July 12-18 when the ING New England Golf Classic is held at Bloomfield’s Wintonbury Hills Golf Course.
The tournament is one of 17 Duramed Futures Tour events held in the U.S. and Mexico and attracts a field of top notch young women pros. Duramed Futures Tour players have gone onto win a total of 345 LPGA titles, including 37 major championships.
Duramed Futures Tour events have contributed more than $4.5 million to charities since 1989.
Dewi Claire Schreefel won last year’s tournament at Wintonbury Hills with a 54-hole score of 202, eight-under par. She won by three strokes.
This year’s purse will be $100,000, with $14,000 going to the winner.