HARTFORD, Conn. – A year ago, the Travelers Championship had its best field since the insurance giant became title sponsor in 2007.
The field reached an even higher level on Tuesday when 44-time PGA Tour winner Phil Mickelson, the only repeat champion since the inception of the tournament as the Insurance City Open in 1952, committed to play for the first time in 16 years.
“Phil Mickelson is one of the greats of the game, and it’s going to be exciting for Connecticut golf fans to have the opportunity to see him back at River Highlands,” tournament chairman Nathan Grube said. “Phil brings even more star power to an already elite field of PGA Tour pros, and we are thrilled about this announcement and the commitments we’ve received thus far.”
Mickelson, who has captured five major championships, won back-to-back at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell in 2001 and 2002 and joins a field that already included 11 of the Top-20 players in the Official World Golf Ranking.
“This is great news for the Travelers Championship and for our community,” said Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Travelers. “When you add a name like Mickelson to the great field we have already announced, you have the makings of one of the most exciting groups of players we’ve ever had. We couldn’t be happier about how the 2019 player field is coming together.”
Mickelson, one of golf’s most noteworthy and beloved players, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012 and holds a record 12 appearances on the U.S. Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams. At 48 years old, he remains one of the best players in the game and is currently No. 23 in the world rankings. In five starts in the Travelers Championship, he has earned $1,295,320. After missing the cut in his tournament debut in 1992, he tied for 26th in 1994, won in 2001 and 2002 and tied for 58th in 2003.
Other marquee players to have committed to this year’s tournament include defending champion Bubba Watson (No. 18), Brooks Koepka (No. 3), Justin Thomas (No. 5), Francesco Molinari (No. 7), Bryson DeChambeau (No. 8), Paul Casey (No. 12), Tony Finau (No. 14), Jason Day (No. 15), Tommy Fleetwood (No. 16), Patrick Cantlay (No. 17), Patrick Reed (No. 19) and 2012 Travelers Championship winner Marc Leishman (No. 22).
Koepka will defend in the PGA Championship on May 16-19 at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course in Framingham, N.Y., and then shoot for a third consecutive U.S. Open title at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California on June 13-16, the week before the Travelers Championship. Molinari will defend in the British Open on July 18-21 at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Portrush, Northern Ireland, after becoming the first Italian to win a major championship a year ago when he outdueled Tiger Woods down the stretch.
When Watson donated $200,000 of his $1,260,000 winnings last year, it gave the tournament a record $2 million for charity in a single year. That record certainly could be broken this year with the popular Mickelson returning to Cromwell.