HARTFORD, Conn., June 7, 2013 – The Travelers Championship has granted sponsor’s exemptions to two of golf’s youngest stars and two established veterans, as Chris Williams, Justin Thomas, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Brad Faxon will all join the tournament player field from June 17 to 23. The Travelers Championship has made it a priority to invest in bringing top young players to Connecticut each year.
“We’re excited to give our sponsor’s exemptions to Chris, Justin, Gonzalo and Brad,” said Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube. “This is a great mix of young superstars and talented veteran players, all of which have tremendous ability. We’re proud to have these golfers at our tournament.”
Chris Williams is the No. 1 ranked amateur golfer in the world and will be turning professional at the Travelers Championship. The University of Washington senior recently won the Ben Hogan Award, given annually to the top men’s player in college and amateur events in the last year. (Top professionals like Hunter Mahan, Bill Haas, Rickie Fowler and Kyle Stanley have won the award in the past.) Williams has been a star at Washington his entire career and is one of the school’s most decorated players of all time. He won the 2012 Mark H. McCormack Award for the world’s No. 1 ranked amateur, the 2010 Phil Mickelson Freshman of the Year award, and was a first team All-American in 2011 and 2012.
University of Alabama sophomore Justin Thomas has had a very successful college career in just two years as a Crimson Tide. As a freshman, he won both the Jack Nicklaus and Fred Haskins Awards, which are awards presented annually to the National Player of the Year in men’s collegiate golf. He also helped guide Alabama to the SEC Championship, earning SEC Player of the Year, Phil Mickelson Freshman of the Year, and first team All-America honors in the process. Thomas is currently ranked No. 6 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano has had a productive year, especially internationally and is currently ranked No. 41 in the Official World Golf Rankings. The Spaniard, nicknamed “Gonzo,” is a European Tour staple, having won six times internationally. In just seven PGA TOUR events this season, Fernandez-Castano has two top-10 and three top-25 finishes, including a tied for third place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He is now looking to play the PGA TOUR full time.
Brad Faxon has played TPC River Highlands 28 times, and hasn’t missed a tournament since 1999. He won the tournament in 2005, which is one of his eight victories on TOUR. He also has 17 second-place and nine third-place finishes in his career, and has earned nearly $18 million in TOUR earnings. A New England area native, Faxon partnered with fellow TOUR pro Billy Andrade to give back to the area, and their nonprofit Billy Andrade/Brad Faxon Charities for Children, Inc. has donated over $3 million to needy children in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Williams, Thomas, Fernandez-Castano, and Faxon join a field that already includes top golfers such as Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Keegan Bradley, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter, Zach Johnson, and reigning champion Marc Leishman. Tickets for the tournament, which will take place from June 17 to 23 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., are on sale now at here.