Travelers Championship preview

The PGA Tour traverses the USA from west coast to east this week as the players line up for the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson defends the title in Connecticut.

Fredrik Jacobson defends Travelers Championship (Getty Images)

Lowdown: The PGA Tour traverses the USA from west coast to east this week as the players line up for the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson defends the title in Connecticut. After the thrills and spills of last week's US Open in San Francisco, the regular PGA Tour season continues at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut this week. The latest Major winner Webb Simpson will tee it up, but he'll face stern competition from an impressive field that includes Bubba Watson, Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter. 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. At just 6,841 yards it's one of the shorter layouts on the PGA Tour circuit (third shortest in fact,) and it plays as one of the easier courses each season to boot. In 2011 there were only 10 tracks that witnessed lower scoring. 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. Last season Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson produced four superb rounds in the 60s to win by a shot from Ryan Moore and John Rollins. After two rounds it looked as though young amateur Patrick Cantlay might spring a surprise. He opened with a 67 then fired a course record 60 in round two. But, he fell away over the weekend and eventually finished in a tie for 24th.

Venue: TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut Date: Jun 21-24 Course stats: par 70, 6,841 yards Purse: $6,000,000 Winner: $1,080,000 Defending Champion: Fredrik Jacobson (-20)

TV Coverage: Thursday 21 - Live on Sky Sports 1 from 8pm Friday 22 - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm Saturday 23 - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 6pm Sunday 24 - Live on Sky Sports 2 from 6pm

Player Watch: Fredrik Jacobson - After a good performance in last week's US Open, the defending champion will surely fancy his chances to win in back-to-back seasons at TPC River Highlands. He had only one bogey around this course last year.

Padraig Harrington - The Irishman looks, finally, to be coming back on to his game. He finished strongly at Olympic with a Sunday 68. He seems to be full of confidence and has played well in this event before - tied fifth in 2010.

Michael Thompson - Tied second last week, Thompson may be a relative unknown in the UK, but he's clearly a superb player. He's an excellent putter and that will serve him well in a tournament where holing numerous birdie putts is key to success. He was fourth in this event last season.

Key hole: 13th. A relatively short par-5 at just 523 yards. Everyone in the field should have the opportunity to get home in two, however, water waits short and a dangerous bunker lies over the back. It's a real risk and reward hole.

Where next? European Tour - BMW International Open preview

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He 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 history section of "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?