MICHAEL BOLTON, JOE PESCI, LUKE WILSON, CHRIS BERMAN, WWE’S THE MIZ, JIM CALHOUN AND MORE COMMIT TO PLAY
HARTFORD, Conn., June 3, 2011- The Travelers Championship will host celebrities and sports personalities at TPC River Highlands on Wednesday, June 22 for the Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am, just one day prior to the start of tournament play featuring some of the world’s best golfers. The Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am will feature Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Michael Bolton, Academy Award-winning actor Joe Pesci, actor Luke Wilson, six-time National Sportscaster of the Year Chris Berman, reality TV and wrestling star The Miz and Hall of Fame College Basketball coach Jim Calhoun.
Additional fan favorites include Baseball Tonight host Karl Ravech, University of Connecticut Associate Head Basketball Coaches Chris Dailey and George Blaney and alum Kevin Ollie, who played 13 seasons in the National Basketball Association.
“We greatly appreciate these individuals donating their time to be part of the tournament, to assist us in delivering a world-class sporting event to the fans, all while raising funds and awareness for our tournament charities,” said Tournament Director Nathan Grube. “The Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am has been a staple for our tournament over the years, and we are thrilled to welcome these great celebrities, who will entertain our fans with exciting golf and evening entertainment.”
Along with the action on the course Wednesday, the tournament will once again welcome WFAN Sports Talk Radio host Mike Francesa for a live broadcast of his show, Mike’d Up: Francesa on the FAN. The show will broadcast from 1:00 – 6:00 p.m. on the clubhouse patio. Following the radio broadcast, the excitement will continue in the Subway Fan Zone with a performance by Eddie Money during the first night of the REACH Concert Series.
Additional celebrity announcements will be made in the next few days. Tee times for the Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am will be between 6:50 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. The majority of celebrity guests will tee off mid-day, and exact tee times for each player will be announced on Monday, June 20. The day will culminate with the Reach Concert Series featuring Eddie Money, which will begin promptly at the end of play.
Michael Bolton, singer, songwriter and social activist, has sold more than 53 million records worldwide, won countless industry distinctions including two Grammys® for Best Male Vocalist and six American Music Awards. Bolton earned a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, has sung with legends like Luciano Pavarotti and Ray Charles, played guitar with B.B. King and had his music recorded on a track by hip-hop superstar Kanye West (featuring megastar Jay-Z). A prolific songwriter, he has penned songs with greats such as Bob Dylan and Lady Gaga, as well as hits for a diverse range of artists. Of all that the Connecticut native has accomplished, perhaps nothing is more important to Bolton than his philanthropic endeavors, especially The Michael Bolton Charities, Inc, which he founded nearly 20 years ago to aid children and women at risk of abuse, poverty and domestic violence. Since its inception, The MBC has dispersed over $6 million in grants.
Screen legend Joe Pesci has been nominated for dozens of film awards including two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. He is known for various diverse roles, ranging from the entertaining thief in Home Alone to his iconic performance as Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas, for which he earned the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Pesci’s most recent performance was in 2010’s Love Ranch, a drama co-starring Helen Mirren.
Actor Luke Wilson is best known for his comedic roles in box office hits such as Old School, The Royal Tenenbaums and Legally Blonde. Most recently, Wilson filmed a drama called Meeting Evil, which is slated for release later this year.
Dynamic sportscaster Chris Berman has been a great enthusiast of Connecticut’s PGA TOUR event for years and is known for infusing his energy into the event. Berman has been on-air with ESPN since the station was founded in 1979 and is best known as the voice of NFL Sundays. He has been named Sportscaster of the Year six times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and was recently honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Miz is a former reality TV star and WWE champion. The Miz’s road to fame began on MTV, where he starred in The Real World: Back to New York. He also has appeared on The Real World/Road Rules Challenge, The Inferno, The Gauntlet and Battle of the Network Reality Stars. In 2004, The Miz competed in the show Tough Enough®, in which the winner is awarded a WWE contract. Even though he finished runner-up, The Miz later joined the organization as a host and eventual competitor. He has had a successful career in the ring, capturing the WWE Tag Team Championship alongside John Morrison®. In November 2010, The Miz won the WWE Title with a victory over Randy Orton®.
Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun has spent the last 25 years as head coach of the UConn men’s basketball team. He led the Huskies to the 2011 NCAA National Championship, making him only the fifth coach in NCAA history to capture three national titles. This past season, Calhoun also became the first coach to capture seven Big East Tournament titles. With an overall record of 855-367, Calhoun is one of just eight Division I coaches to reach the 800-win club.
Karl Ravech has been with ESPN since 1993, having primarily been the host of the Emmy Award-winning Baseball Tonight, while also hosting Sportscenter as an anchor. He has also covered the hardwood, hosting College Hoops 2Night, a weekly news and highlights show on ESPN2. In addition, Ravech has served as a golf commentator for the network.
UConn Women’s Basketball Associate Head Coach Chris Dailey has helped transform the Huskies into one of the most dominant programs in the country. She recently completed her 26th season at the university, in which the team set a national record with 90-consecutive wins. No team has had as much success as the Huskies over the past two decades, winners of seven national championships.
George Blaney, UConn Men’s Basketball Associate Head Coach, will enter his 11th season with the Huskies men’s basketball program in the fall of 2011. Blaney is a 2003 inductee in the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and brings more than 30 years of coaching experience to the basketball staff at UConn. He was an All-New England college basketball standout at Holy Cross and was a fourth round selection of the New York Knicks in the 1961 NBA Draft.
After a 13-year career in the National Basketball Association, Kevin Ollie returned to his alma mater, UConn, as an assistant coach last summer. Ollie is third on the program’s all-time assist list and was named to the UConn Basketball All-Century Team in 2001. In his final two seasons in Storrs, Ollie helped lead the Huskies to the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, respectively, in the NCAA Tournament.
Tickets are available now at www.TravelersChampionship.com.