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Plenty of top golfers will crowd the course at Travelers Championship – The Collinsville Press
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Plenty of top golfers will crowd the course at Travelers Championship

Jon Rahm, the No. 2 ranked player in the world, will be playing in the Travelers Championship in two weeks. (Photo courtesy Travelers Championship)

CROMWELL, June 15 – Due to the COVID 15 pandemic, fans won’t be able to see in person eight of the top 10 golfers in the world at the Travelers Championship on June 25-28 at TPC River Highlanders.

But, we will be able to watch an outstanding group with the rest of the viewing public on CBS television and the Golf Channel.

The Travelers Championship announced another two commitments on Monday – No. 2 Jon Rahm and No. 9 Webb Simpson. Late last week, No. 5 Dustin Johnson and Jason Day, who was once ranked No. 1 in the world, committed to play in Cromwell.

Other top 10 players in the field include No. 1 Rory McIllroy, No. 3 Brooks Kopeka, No. 4 Justin Thomas along with No. 6 Patrick Reed and No. 7 Patrick Cantlay.

“We are extremely excited to have everyone in the top five of the world rankings and eight of the top 10 join us this year,” said Nathan Grube, the tournament director at the Travelers Championship. “Jon and Webb have each won multiple times on the PGA Tour and will be tremendous additions to one of our best player fields ever.”

The PGA Tour returned last week after three months of no competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first post-pandemic tournament was in Fort Worth, Texas with the Charles Schwab Challenge. On Thursday, the RBC Heritage will be played in Hilton Head, South Carolina. And the Travelers Championship will follow.

No fans will be allowed on the course in Cromwell. The lack of fans on the course didn’t dull the experience for Daniel Berger, who won Sunday’s tournament in Texas, in a one-hole playoff.

“Making a putt on the 18th hole to tie the lead and not hearing any roars is a little bit different, but there’s some holes where you get the crowd standing on the left to right side of the tee and where you kind of spray one, they’re kind of there. It just wasn’t like that,” he said. “The golf course was fantastic. The atmosphere in my opinion was fantastic, even though there weren’t any fans out there. You knew that millions of people were watching at home, and that was just enough for me.”

Rahm is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, with six more victories coming on the European Tour. In six PGA Tour starts this season, Rahm has had four top 10 finishes. Rahm made the cut at the 2015 Travelers Championship as an amateur and tied for 25th at TPC River Highlands in 2016.

Simpson won for the sixth time in his PGA Tour career earlier this year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. In six starts this season, Simpson has had four top 10 finishes, including one win, a second-place finish at the RSM Classic and a third-place finish at the Sony Open. In nine starts at the Travelers Championship, Simpson has made eight cuts, with his best finish a tie for fifth in 2013.

Johnson has won at least one PGA Tour event in 12 consecutive seasons, the longest active streak on tour. Johnson was named PGA Tour Player of the Year and won three tournaments in 2016, including the U.S. Open for his first major championship. He has 20 tour victories, 17 top-10 finishes in major tournaments and will be making his fourth start at TPC River Highlands.

Day is a 12-time PGA Tour winner, including the PGA Championship in 2015 for his first major title. He won five tournaments that year, including two FedExCup playoff events that moved him to the No. 1 spot in the world rankings, which he held for 51 weeks. Day tied for eighth at the 2019 Travelers Championship, his best finish in five appearances.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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