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Early Summer a Time for Pro Tournaments
John Torsiello
By John Torsiello
Published on 06/7/2010

Early Summer a Time for Pro Tournaments

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.

Five Minutes with Defending Champion Kenny Perry

In light of the Tiger Woods scandal and resulting fallout for the game from the press and golf fans, we thought it might be a good idea to ask Kenny Perry, one of the most spiritual players on the PGA Tour, to talk about his values when he visited the Tournament Players Club in Cromwell, Ct. for The Travelers Championship media day.
Perry is a centered individual. He gives back to his community in numerous ways, such as through the building and financing of a daily fee course in his hometown of Franklin, Ky., where he can be found working behind the counter in the pro shop. He won last year’s PGA Tour Payne Stewart Award given to a player who shows respect for the traditions of the game,
commitment to uphold the game’s heritage of charitable
support and professional and meticulous presentation of himself and the sport through his dress and conduct.
GM: Where did you values come from? Was it your parents, your     upbringing, your community?
KP: Actually, it was all of those things. My wife was a big difference in my life. And then it’s a personal belief. We can all look at the Tiger Woods situation. They always ask me about it and I say there was only one perfect person that I knew and it was Jesus Christ. It’s easy for me to forgive. That’s how I live my life. Will America forgive? The values I have make my life very easy and keep me out of trouble.

GM: Do you carry those values with you on Tour?
KP: I do.
GM: Would you like to see more players adopt values whether it is your Christian values or another set of core values?
KP: There are a lot more players out there who have strong values than you think. We have the Larry Moody Search Ministries that does the Wednesday night Bible study on Tour and a lot of guys come to that. You’d be impressed by how many guys show up for that study. We’re all pretty close.
GM: Do your values affect who you hang out with on Tour?
KP: Definitely. I’m more of an influence on them than they are on me. I don’t want to get in situations that make me feel awkward or bad. If that happens, I’m out of there. I’m not going to go against what I believe in or what I think and what I do.
GM: So, your values carry over into your interaction with people? It’s who you are, where you grew up and where you live?
KP: Exactly!

The Travelerís Championship Fast Facts
Where: TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Ct.
When: June 21-27
Purse: $6 million
Winner’s Share: $1.08 million
FedEx Cup Points: 25,000
Defending Champion: Kenny Perry
Tournament Beneficiaries: The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Greater Hartford Jaycees, more than 130 charities via Birdies for Charity.
Early 2010 Field: Perry, Stewart Cink, V.J. Singh, Stuart Appleby, David Toms, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Anthony Kim, Chad Campbell, Justin Rose.
The Skinny: The 49-year-old Perry won last year’s tournament with a record score of 258, 22-under par. His tourney total included a 61 on opening day and a 63 on Sunday…The tournament has raised more than $23 million for charity since its inception, including over a million last year. The popular Fan Zone, located in the center of the course on the grounds of the former practice range, will be back this year. The Fan Zone includes concessions,
merchandise tents, a Kids Zone, expo
displays, and an event concert series Friday and Saturday nights…The short par-four 15th hole at the TPC River Highlands was ranked as the eighth best spot to watch golf in a poll of editors, writers and
photographers for Golf Digest and Golf World magazines. A celebrity pro-am will be played Wednesday, June 23.

ING New England  Golf Classic
When: July 16-18
Where: Wintonbury Hills Golf Course, Bloomfield, Ct.
Purse: $100,000
Winner’s Share: $14,000
2009 Champion: Dewi Claire Schreefel
Winning Score: 202
The Skinny: The event has moved around, being formerly played at Avon’s Blue Fox Run Golf Course and Bloomfield’s Gillette Ridge Golf Club…The tournament raises money for Chip in for a Cure, which supports breast cancer research and education programs at local hospitals…The Bloomfield stop is one of 17 Duramed Futures Tour events held across the U.S and Mexico. Duramed Futures Tour players have gone on to win a total of 345 LPGA titles, including 37 major championships.

CVS Caremark Charity Classic
Where: Rhode Island Country Club, Woonsocket, R.I.
When: June 27-29
Purse: $1.55 million
Winner’s Share: $300,000
2009 Champions: David Toms
and Nick Price
Winning Score: 16-under par
The Skinny: The tournament, which combines stars from the PGA, Champions and LPGA tours, is a two-person team event…The tourney has raised $12 million for    charities around the region in 10 years of existence. The hosts are Rhode Islanders Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade, PGA Tour veterans…Price has won three CVS Caremark Charity Classic titles, the most in the tournament’s history. Price won in 2001 and 2006, both times in a playoff.