HARTFORD, Conn., June 7, 2022 – The Travelers Championship today announced that Chris Gotterup, Cole Hammer, Michael Thorbjornsen and Ben James have accepted sponsor exemptions into the 2022 tournament.
“There are many outstanding players we consider for these exemptions, but Chris, Cole, Michael and Ben have separated themselves with their play and we’re thrilled to offer them spots in this year’s Travelers Championship,” said Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube. “Chris and Cole are embarking on their professional careers while Michael and Ben have college golf in their future. It’s a special time for all four of these young players.”
Chris Gotterup was recently named winner of the Haskins Award, recognizing the most outstanding NCAA Division I golfer for the 2021-2022 season. He also picked up the 2022 Nicklaus Award as top player. Gotterup helped the University of Oklahoma advance to the NCAA Championship. He tied for fifth in the individual competition and led the Sooners into the quarterfinals of the team event. Gotterup earned two individual tournament victories in his one season at Oklahoma after transferring from Rutgers University. He advanced through U.S. Open sectional qualifying and will be competing in his first U.S. Open next week at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Cole Hammer finished his college career this month by leading the University of Texas to an NCAA team title, the fourth in program history. Hammer was a decorated amateur, twice representing the United States in the Walker Cup, winning the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and the Western Amateur in 2018, and qualifying for the U.S. Open three times, the first time as a 15-year-old in 2015. Hammer also competed in the Open Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson in 2021. He was ranked No. 13 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, and will be making his PGA TOUR debut as a professional at this year’s Travelers Championship.
Michael Thorbjornsen just completed his sophomore season at Stanford, where he led the Cardinal in scoring average (70.66) and helped the team reach the NCAA Championship. Thorbjornsen won the 2018 U.S. Junior, which earned him a spot in the 2019 U.S. Open, where he made the cut at Pebble Beach as a 17-year-old. He has also qualified for this year’s U.S. Open. Thorbjornsen is from Wellesley, Massachusetts and is the reigning Massachusetts Amateur champion. He is No. 24 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and has been selected to represent Team USA in the prestigious Arnold Palmer Cup next month in Switzerland.
Ben James is the top-ranked boys junior golfer in the country according to the American Junior Golf Association. A 19-year-old from Milford, Connecticut, James will be playing golf for the University of Virginia in the fall after graduating from Hamden Hall Country Day School. James hasn’t finished worse than third in any of his past six AJGA events, winning four times. He narrowly missed out on qualifying for this year’s U.S. Open, losing on Monday in a playoff at a sectional qualifier in Purchase, New York.
“The Travelers Championship team has always worked to identify the most accomplished amateurs and provide them with the opportunity to continue to build their golf careers,” said Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Travelers. “Chris, Cole, Michael and Ben have certainly earned this opportunity, and we’re looking forward to seeing them compete at this level. We are happy to be part of this exciting time in their lives, and we’ll certainly take time to get to know them even better at TPC River Highlands.”
For tickets and tournament updates, visit TravelersChampionship.com.
About the Travelers Championship
The Travelers Championship, held in Cromwell, Connecticut, is one of the premier events on the PGA TOUR and part of the FedExCup series. The tournament proudly supports the TOUR’s Tradition of Giving Back by donating 100% of net proceeds to charities. Travelers, a leading provider of property and casualty insurance for auto, home and business, is the Official Property Casualty Insurance Provider of the PGA TOUR. The company became the tournament’s title sponsor in 2007. Travelers has been doing business in the Hartford community for more than 160 years and has been a corporate sponsor of this event each year since its inception in 1952. Complete details are available at TravelersChampionship.com.