HARTFORD, Conn., June 19, 2015 – The Travelers Championship announced today that top celebrities in sports, television, and Hollywood will participate in the 2015 Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am on Wednesday, June 24. This year’s event will include actor/comedian George Lopez; television host Matt Lauer; former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield; professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler; NFL Hall of Famer Andre Tippett; former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie; ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman; NBA All-Star Ray Allen; musical artist and winner of NBC’s The Voice Javier Colon; New England Patriots placekicker Stephen Gostkowski; and NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace. In addition, several prominent members of the University of Connecticut athletic department will be joining the 2015 Pro-Am field—Geno Auriemma, Jim Calhoun, Mike Cavanaugh, Warde Manuel, and Chris Dailey.
“We’re thrilled to have such diverse talent in this group of celebrities, along with several prominent members of the UConn athletic department, all of whom are volunteering their time to help raise funds and awareness for the tournament charities by playing in the Pro-Am,” said Andy Bessette, Travelers Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. “This event is always a fan favorite, as they get to see celebrities and PGA TOUR pros team up for a great cause.”
George Lopez is a multi-talented entertainer whose career encompasses television, film, standup comedy, and late-night television. Lopez hosted Lopez Tonight, a late-night television talk show on TBS for two seasons and starred in television’s groundbreaking hit sitcom George Lopez, which ran for six seasons. Lopez has risen to become one of the premier comedic talents in the entertainment industry and known for his extensive charity work with various foundations. He can currently be seen on his nationwide comedy tour – Black and Brown Comedy Get Down.
Matt Lauer is a renowned television journalist who has co-hosted NBC’s prestigious TODAY show since 1997 and is a contributor for Dateline NBC. He has co-hosted the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics, 2010 Winter Olympics, and 2012 Summer Olympics. Lauer is the winner of five Daytime Emmy Awards.
Former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield played in Major League Baseball for 20 years. Famous for his knuckleball, Wakefield retired in 2012 after helping the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004 and 2007. He finished his career with 200 wins, the third most of any Red Sox pitcher. Currently, Wakefield serves as the Honorary Chairman of the Red Sox Foundation as well as a studio analyst for NESN.
Ryan Sheckler is one of the most famous and successful skateboarders in the world. He began his professional career in 1998 when he was just 13 years old. He has competed in the X Games 15 times; winning seven medals from those competitions, three of which are gold. In 2005 Sheckler not only took the overall title in Skateboard Park at the Dew Action Sports Tour, but he also earned the title “Athlete of the Year” by accumulating the most points of any athlete in all disciplines on the tour. Sheckler not only is an incredible athlete, but also a passionate philanthropist. With his deep desire to give back, he started The Sheckler Foundation in 2008.
Chris Berman is one of the most beloved sportscasters in America. He has been with ESPN since its inception and has won several awards for his work, including six National Sportscaster of the Year awards and 10 Emmy Awards. He hosts some of ESPN’s top programming, including Sunday NFL Countdown and the NFL Draft.
Ten-time NBA All-Star and former UConn Basketball player Ray Allen has played in the National Basketball League for 19 years. The three-point specialist has played for four different teams in his professional career, winning two NBA titles, in 2008 with the Boston Celtics and 2013 with the Miami Heat. Allen is the NBA’s all-time leader in three-point field goals made.
Javier Colon is a University of Hartford graduate who came onto the scene in 2011 when he won the first season of NBC’s The Voice. In addition to writing and performing, Colon launched a series called Inside Voice where they discuss performances done on the show. Colon has recently announced that he will be joining Concord Music Group and is planning to release an album within the year.
Stephen Gostkowski is placekicker for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. Since being drafted by the Patriots in 2006, Gostkowski has been one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL. He has led the league in scoring four times throughout his career, three of which came in the past three years. In 2014, he became the Patriots’ all-time leading scorer.
NFL legends Doug Flutie and Andre Tippett will also tee it up at TPC River Highlands. Flutie played in the NFL as a quarterback for 12 seasons on four different teams. In 1984, while attending Boston College, he won the Heisman Trophy as the best collegiate player that season. Tippett played in the NFL for 12 seasons all with the New England Patriots. He made five Pro Bowl teams during his career, and in 2008, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Bubba Wallace drives the No. 6 Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, sitting in fifth place in the most recent standings. In 2013, he became the first African American driver to win in one of NASCAR’s national series since 1963, winning the Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway.
The University of Connecticut continues to be a strong supporter of the Travelers Championship with five members of its athletic department joining the Pro-Am field this year. Geno Auriemma has been the head coach of the women’s basketball program for the last 29 years and has led his team to 10 national titles in that timeframe, including one in each of the last three years. Former UConn head coach and Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun coached the UConn men’s team for 26 years, winning three titles. Mike Cavanaugh has been the UConn men’s ice hockey head coach since 2013 and was in charge this past season as UConn made a successful transition into Hockey East, the premier collegiate hockey league. Warde Manuel is the director of athletics at UConn, where he has been since 2012. Since Manuel’s arrival, UConn has won a combined six NCAA Division I National Championships. Chris Dailey has been with the UConn women’s basketball program for 29 years. She currently serves as an associate head coach and helps coordinate all facets of the UConn program which includes recruiting and player development on and off the court. All five Huskies join the Pro-Am field in support of the many local and regional charities that benefit from the Travelers Championship.
Tickets for the 2015 Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am are on sale now at TravelersChampionship.com. This year’s Travelers Championship field includes top players Bubba Watson, Jason Day, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Ernie Els, Zach Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, and reigning champion Kevin Streelman. The Travelers Championship will be held June 22 to 28 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
About the Travelers Championship
As the first PGA TOUR event of the season in the Northeast, the Travelers Championship is one of the region’s premier sporting events. The tournament proudly supports the PGA TOUR’s Tradition of Giving Back by donating 100 percent of net proceeds to charities. Travelers, a leading provider of property casualty insurance for home, auto, and business, is the Official Property Casualty Insurance Provider of the PGA TOUR and became the tournament’s title sponsor in 2007. The company has been doing business in the community for more than 150 years and has been a corporate sponsor of this event each year since its inception in 1952. Complete details are available on www.TravelersChampionship.com.