Amidst Significant Change, Charitable Giving Remains Priority at Travelers Championship
At the 2020 Travelers Championship, it’s much easier to look at what has remained the same instead of trying to list the many things that have changed.
To start with, the tournament’s spot on the annual golf calendar – June 25-28 – remains unchanged from last year. Considering the impact that the COVID-19 global pandemic has had on the sports world, not to mention everyday life, simply being able to schedule a live golf tournament is a major victory. In addition, Connecticut’s only PGA Tour event will again be played over four days at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell and feature a purse of $7.4 million.
At the course, the most noticeable change this year will be the lack of spectators, a rule that has been put in place by the PGA Tour for at least the first four tournaments on the reconfigured schedule. The PGA Tour will restart its season June 11, three months after halting play following the first round of the PLAYERS in an effort to try to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Travelers Championship, named in 2017 and 2018 by the PGA Tour as the “Players Choice” award recipient, is the third event on the calendar since play resumed.
Off the course, the most significant fact that remains unchanged is the tournament’s goal of providing financial assistance to local charities, a gesture that will take on much bigger purpose this year. Along with continuing to support the tournament’s core charity partners, this year’s recipients will include organizations dedicated to COVID-19 relief efforts. Tournament organizers are anticipating that more than 100 charities will benefit from the 2020 event.
“Even though this year’s Travelers Championship will look a lot different because there won’t be fans or the typical tournament infrastructure, we’ll still be able to address the needs of so many local nonprofit organizations by generating money for charity,” said Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube. “Supporting them during these challenging times wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of so many of the tournament’s corporate sponsors.”
The Travelers Championship has generated almost $20 million to more than 750 local charities since Travelers became title sponsor in 2007. A year ago, $2.1 million was donated to local organizations in need. This year, fans interested in donating to tournament charities can do so by visiting www.travelerschampionship.com.
“It’s so important this year to express our appreciation for those health care professionals and organizations fighting on the front lines against this pandemic,” said Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Travelers. “Since 1952 the Travelers Championship has made a positive impact on Connecticut, including hundreds of charities and thousands of people. Organizations dealing with COVID-19 need our help, and I’m proud that the tournament will be able to step up and assist.”
With a packed schedule leading up to August’s PGA Championship – the first of three Major tournaments this year – the Travelers Championship will include a star-studded field with 8 of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking expected. Rory McIlroy, the world’s No. 1-ranked player, four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson (a three-time Travelers champion) will tee it up in Cromwell.
Although no on-site spectators will be allowed, all tournament rounds will be televised. Golf Channel will air all four rounds Thursday-Sunday, while CBS will broadcast late-round action on Saturday-Sunday.