HARTFORD, Conn., August 2, 2016 – Travelers Championship week began on Monday with the first of two pro-ams and the tournament’s Opening Ceremony, which highlighted its focus on charitable efforts relating to ALS research and patient care. Occupying a new date on the PGA TOUR schedule this year to accommodate the Olympics, the Travelers Championship once again is being held at TPC River Highlands, its home since 1984.
Representatives from Travelers; the state of Connecticut; the Travelers Championship and the ALS Clinic at the Hospital for Special Care (HSC), this year’s primary charitable beneficiary, gathered at The First Tee of Connecticut building on Monday morning to officially announce the start of tournament week. Speakers included Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Travelers; Connecticut Governor Dannell Malloy; Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube; Jay Fishman, Executive Chairman of the Board for Travelers; and Brian Savo, an ALS patient at HSC.
Fishman and Savo are the Honorary Co-Chairs of this year’s Travelers Championship. Both gave moving speeches about living with ALS and how meaningful and important this year’s connection to the Travelers Championship will be in the goal of improving ALS patient care and finding a cure for the disease.
After the Opening Ceremony, a Back to School Brigade, an Operation Homefront initiative made possible with support from ConnectiCare®, gathered school supplies and backpacks for 200 children of military members from Groton, Connecticut.
The Aetna Tournament Players Pro-Am followed, featuring PGA TOUR players and participants from the community. The winning team led by PGA TOUR Professional Derek Fathauer, included Andy Morgan, Francois Morin, Stuart Hayes and Thomas Helfrich.
Monday also saw the final four spots in the Travelers Championship field secured through a qualifying tournament. Derek Gillespie shot 64 at Ellington Ridge Country Club, with Luke Guthrie, Stuart Appleby and Cameron Percy also getting through.
Tuesday’s schedule includes The Umbrella at 15 ½ Challenge, where PGA TOUR players will have the chance to win $10,000 for the charity of their choice by taking a shot at the floating green in the shape of the red Travelers umbrella logo during the practice round; Operation Shower presented by ConnectiCare®, a baby shower hosted for expectant military wives; and more. It’s also Farmington Bank Family Day, with a Drive, Chip & Putt qualifier along with free lessons from Connecticut Section PGA professionals at the TPC River Highlands practice facility.