After a hectic week of player's complaining and media professionals ripping apart Mike Davis for the lack of leadership during the U.S. Open, there is 100% no one more excited for the Traveler's Championship to begin than the USGA. You might find them swimming to Pebble Beach at this point as they continue to duck taking accountability for their mishandling of Shinnecock once again.
I'd say the golf community isn't going to let this one go till the 2019 U.S. Open, but enough about the USGA, let's get back to the golf.
3 Things To Know About The Traveler's Championship at TPC River Highlands
Last Year's Winner: Jordan Spieth
Spieth's walk-off hole-out from the bunker last year was an unforgettable moment in the saga of Jordan Spieth. The epic club toss that you and I typically do after duffing a chip, to the chest bump with his caddie Michael Greller, it was a moment that will forever be ingrained into Traveler's Championship history.
Last year, the Travelers Championship brought us one of the most iconic shots of the entire season with Jordan Spieth holing out from the bunker to win it all. What will this year bring? It's officially Travelers Championship week and there's only one way to find out!#PlayTPC pic.twitter.com/eZGrQkIuRt— TPC Network (@PlayTPC) June 19, 2018
After leading throughout the first three rounds, Spieth got caught up by Daniel Berger who grinded enough to play into a playoff. For the first playoff hole, Berger's tee shot landed in the left rough while Spieth's drive was blessed from the golf gods as his shot hit off a tree that landed in the fairway.
Berger had to know he lost after this right? There's no worse feeling than when post-round drinks are on the line and your buddy continues to get the lucky bounces.
However, Spieth hit his approach shot into the same greenside bunker he previously hit in on the 72nd hole, which gave Berger hope. But, we all know how it ended, Spieth came out triumphant once again giving him his 10th PGA Tour victory at the time all while being under the age of 24. He finished the tournament shooting 12-under.
The Umbrella at the 15 1/2 Hole
The infamous 85 yard, Par 1 at the 15 1/2 hole at TPC River Highlands truly tests one's shot accuracy. Located in a four-acre lake that surrounds holes 15-17, the 40 foot umbrella is isolated taunting player's, caddies, and spectators to give it a shot.
As all proceeds of the Traveler's Championship are given to local and regional charities, the player's and caddies get a chance to go pin seeking during their Tuesday practice round with the winner receiving $10,000 to donate to a charity of choice.
Last year, John Huh hit it within six inches (yes, SIX!!) of the cup to win the competition. Nobody has ever hit a hole-in-one on 15 1/2, but the forecast for today is calling for raining golf balls during the player's practice round.
Hopefully the Umbrella at 15 1/2 is ready to take on the rainstorm!
Star Studded Field: 8 of Top-15 Golfers in World Competing
I'm sure there will be many fans cheering at the birdie-friendly TPC River Highlands as the player field is filled with studs. Back-to-back U.S. Open winner Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, & Master's winner Patrick Reed to highlight a few.
Outside the Top-15, 2x winner Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson will also be competing to put the final tally at 13 out of the Top-30 golfers in the world battling it out this week at the Traveler's.
Spieth will be looking to repeat after missing the cut at the U.S. Open last week, and expect to see Rory and Jason Day locked in as they also missed the cut.
To see the favorites for the Traveler's Championship, here's a breakdown of who could be victorious by the end of the week.