Tournament will host No. 1 and No. 2 ranked amateurs in the world, the reigning U.S. and British Amateur Champions and the youngest player ever to reach the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings
HARTFORD, Conn., May 1, 2012 – The Travelers Championship is showing a strong commitment to securing young talent this year, as the tournament today announced five new commitments from some of the game’s best up-and-coming players. Ryo Ishikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Kelly Kraft, Bryden Macpherson and Patrick Rodgers will receive sponsor’s exemptions and play at TPC River Highlands from June 18 to 24.
“At the Travelers Championship over the years, we have always tried to have some great young players in our field.” said Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube. “These five players represent the very bright future of the PGA TOUR and we’re proud to be able to give these young players an opportunity to play in our event.”
This year will be Ryo Ishikawa’s first time playing the Travelers Championship. In eight events this season, Ryo has had three top-25 finishes – including tying for second at the Puerto Rico Open – and is ranked No. 57 in the Official World Golf Rankings. A fixture on the Japan Golf Tour, Ishikawa won his first event at the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup in 2007 at just 15 years old, making him the youngest winner ever of a men’s tournament. Since that victory, he has won eight more times in Japan, including a 58 at The Crowns in 2010, which set a record for the lowest score ever on a major tour. In 2011, Ishikawa donated all of his season earnings to help the survivors of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan’s Pacific coast.
Patrick Cantlay, the No. 1 ranked amateur in the world, will make his second appearance at the Travelers Championship. The 20-year-old shot a second-round 60, which is the lowest round in PGA TOUR history by an amateur. In his first year playing PGA TOUR events, Cantlay had a stellar 2011, earning four top-25s, including a T21 at the Open Championship. His play earned him the Mark H. McCormack Medal, awarded each year to the top-ranked amateur in the world. Cantlay has played two TOUR events this year, including earning a top-50 at the Masters.
Kelly Kraft, the reigning U.S. Amateur Champion, turned professional on April 14 after finishing 62nd at the 2012 Masters. The 23-year-old SMU standout was first-team All Conference USA and an honorable mention PING All-American as a senior last year. He was also a member of the 2011 United States Walker Cup Team.
Bryden Macpherson, the reigning British Amateur Champion, turned pro directly after this year’s Masters. The former Georgia Bulldog was the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year and Second-Team All SEC during his first season in 2009-10.
Patrick Rodgers, the No. 2 ranked amateur player in the world, is a Stanford freshman and one of four semifinalists for the 2012 Ben Hogan Award. The Hogan Award is presented annually to the top player in collegiate golf, and features past winners like Hunter Mahan (2003), Bill Haas (2004), Ryan Moore (2005) and Rickie Fowler (2008). He has nine top-10s in 10 events, including two victories. He was also chosen as a member of the 2012 Palmer Cup team.
These five players join an already notable field, including defending champion Fredrik Jacobson, Masters champion Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Padraig Harrington, Ian Poulter, Anthony Kim, and many others. The Travelers Championship will be held June 18 to 24 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. Tournament tickets are on sale now at www.TravelersChampionship.com.