by Ray Bendici
Jun 11, 2013
10:46 AMUnsteady Habits
The 2013 Travelers Championship: Looking at The Field
Two-time British Open champ Padraig Harrington is among the PGA pros who will be taking aim at winning in Cromwell this year.
Once again, a tip of the hat to Nathan Grube and the organizers of The Travelers Championship for bringing some of the best golfers in the world to TPC River Highlands in Cromwell to compete in this year's tournament.
Over the past few years, the field for the tournament has been increasing in quality, mainly due to a combination of having the right date for the event (a week after the U.S. Open), making aggressive recruiting efforts, providing a top-notch facility and enthusiastically catering to player needs. This year the trend continues with multiple major winners as well as some of the best up-and-comers in the game.
Of course, it bears mentioning that this tournament has been the first win on tour for many players—five of the last seven winners, in fact, including last year's winner Marc Leishman—so there's a good chance that on Sunday afternoon it'll be a player you may never have heard of holding the trophy aloft.
If you're planning on getting out to River Highlands—and I highly recommend you do, as it's a great course and well-organized event—here are a just a few of the many terrific players to keep an eye on.
Bubba Watson - Last year's popular Masters champ got his first PGA Tour win in Cromwell in 2010 and finished 2nd here last year, only one stroke back.
Keegan Bradley - The 27-year-old won the 2011 Players Championship and is currently No. 9 in the tour rankings, with six top-ten finishes already this year.
Jason Dufner - After enjoying a breakout season last year with two wins, he's back at the tournament for the first time since 2008 and playing solid, steady golf.
Webb Simpson - The reigning U.S. Open champ makes his sixth appearance at The Travelers, where he has finished in the top 30 three of the past four years.
Hunter Mahan - Currently in the top 15 in the tour rankings, this seven-time winner on tour got his victory here in 2007.
Stewart Cink - Any time a two-time Travelers champ (1997 and 2008) and a British Open winner is on the course, he has to be considered a threat to take home the trophy.
Zach Johnson - The 2007 Masters winner has played in Cromwell seven times, finishing in the top 25 four times.
Justin Rose - Has won four tournaments in the past three years, and has five top ten finishes this year already, including winning the U.S. Open this past Sunday. Has three top ten finishes in Cromwell.
Rickie Fowler - At 25, one of the young guns on tour, he got his first win last year and has been playing well this year with three top ten finishes.
Lee Westwood - Among the best players without a major to his credit; still, he has 39 international victories and continues to always be in contention.
Padraig Harrington - The winner of three majors, he has played well in previous visits to Cromwell, including tied for 5th in 2010 and 11th last year.
Ian Poulter - Like Westwood, has enjoyed international success (15 wins), especially in the World Golf Championships (2 wins), but has struggled on U.S. soil.
Louis Oosthuizen - The 2010 British Open champion with 10 international victories under his belt finished at -4 in the 2012 Travelers, his first appearance in Cromwell.
Marc Leishman - The defending Travelers Champ is playing well this year, having finished tied for 4th in this year's Masters and tied for 8th in The Players Championship.