Travelers Championship to feature top 7 players in world rankings, but not Tiger Woods

June 19, 2020

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The Travelers Championship will feature each of the top seven players in the world rankings, making for easily the strongest field in tournament history. If there is a downside, it’s that Tiger Woods (currently world No. 13) will not be making his first-ever appearance at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.

World No. 7 Patrick Cantlay will make his first appearance since the Tour re-started after a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus. The highest ranked player not in the field is world No. 8 Adam Scott, who opted against flying from Australia to America—and the quarantine on both ends of his trip—in the midst of the pandemic.

The Travelers is normally held the week after the U.S. Open, which leads to a number of top player skipping out on the event to get some rest after a major week. It kept its original date on the schedule—the U.S. Open was originally set for this week at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y.—and has benefitted from the world’s best players having an itch to get back into competition. The Travelers will be the third straight start for each of the top six in the world rankings.

When Woods will make his much-anticipated return to the Tour remains a mystery. He has not played an official event since February, when he finished last among players who made the cut at the Genesis Invitational. He could potentially play the week after the Travelers, at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but there is little reason to believe he’ll make the trip to Detroit.

After the 3M, the Tour heads to Columbus for a Muirfield Village double: the first, a new event called the Workday Charity Open at Muirfield Village, with the second being the Memorial Tournament. Woods is a five-time winner of the Memorial and has played every year he’s healthy.

In total, 16 of the top 20 players in the world will tee it up at the Travelers. Other notables outside the top 20 who will play include Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Sungjae Im and defending champion Chez Reavie.

The field was finalized just hours after news broke that Nick Watney tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first PGA Tour player to do so and putting the Tour’s containment policies to the test. Whether that news has any effect on the Travelers field is worth monitoring.