South Africans aim to press on at Travelers

Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace are in the field at TPC River Highlands

Louis Oosthuizen
Louis Oosthuizen
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After top-five finishes in the US Open at Chambers Bay, Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace of South Africa will look to continue in their rich vein of form at the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship over TPC River Highlands in Connecticut.

Lowdown: After top-five finishes in the US Open at Chambers Bay, Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace of South Africa will look to continue in their rich vein of form at the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship over TPC River Highlands in Connecticut.

A strong field has assembled in Connecticut for the Travelers Championship and a number of players who contested the US Open at Chambers Bay have made the journey across the country. This week’s sponsors made things a little easier for those looking to compete in both events: Travelers Insurance put on a charter flight from the Pacific Northwest to New England.

After his incredible finish at Chambers Bay, 29 on Sunday’s back nine to tie Dustin Johnson for second, Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa must be full of confidence heading into this week. Branden Grace will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing finish at Chambers Bay. He ended the week just two shots back of Jordan Spieth after firing his tee shot out-of-bounds on the driveable 16th.

The likes of Bubba Watson, Brandt Snedeker, Sergio Garcia, Billy Horschel and Patrick Reed are also on the start sheet at TPC River Highlands and it looks set to be an exciting tournament; this is a course that tends to deliver drama after all.

Last season, Kevin Streelman produced one of the most remarkable finishes in PGA Tour history to overtake Sergio Garcia and K.J. Choi and claim the title. Streelman one-putted his final 10 holes and closed out with seven straight birdies for a superb 64.

TPC River Highlands was originally laid out in 1928 by Robert J. Ross and Maurice Kearney, at that time it was known as Edgewood Country Club. The course was redesigned by Pete Dye in 1982 and again by Bobby Weed in 1998.

The Travelers Championship has had a number of different guises since it was first contested in 1952. It began life as the Insurance City Open and, for a time, was hosted by Sammy Davis Jnr. Over the years there have been some famous winners of the event including Arnold Palmer, Charles Sifford, Lee Trevino and Greg Norman.

Rain and thunderstorms are a possibility this week so don’t be surprised if there are one or two delays to the action.

Venue: TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut Date: Jun 25-28 Course stats: par 70, 6,841 yards Purse: $6,400,000 Winner: $1,152,000 Defending Champion: Kevin Streelman (-15)

TV Coverage: Thursday 25 – Sky Sports 4 from 8.30pm Friday 26 – Sky Sports 4 from 8.30pm Saturday 27 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm Sunday 28 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm

Player watch: Louis Oosthuizen – Fresh off an incredible finish at Chambers Bay, Oosthuizen looks to be back to his very best. He has five top-five finishes on the PGA Tour this year from just 12 starts.

Kevin Streelman – The defending champion clearly enjoys this course and has finished in the top-10 on two further occasions. He’s been on solid form of late – tied 18th in his last outing.

Marc Leishman – The Australian won this event in 2012 and has never missed the cut. He was tied fifth at Memorial three weeks ago.

Key hole: 17th. It’s only 433 yards, but the tee shot is extremely demanding with water waiting right and a sprawling fairway bunker protecting the left side. The second shot must then fly all the way over the water and anything slightly mis-struck or drifting on the wind, could end up wet.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?