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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Strong field ready to compete at 81st Connecticut Open

The opportunity to win a tournament from his home state on the course he grew up playing was intriguing to PGA Tour pro J.J. Henry — even though he passed on the chance.

The 81st Connecticut Open will be held Monday through Wednesday at the Patterson Club in Fairfield. Few golfers, even now, know the course better than Henry (pictured above).

“It’s a tournament I never won. And the fact that it’s on my home golf course, I thought about it,” said Henry, who now resides in Fort Worth, Texas. “The only way I would’ve played in it is because it was my home course. Granted I don’t live there anymore, but it’s still my old stomping grounds.”

What does Henry think is needed to succeed at Patterson? Check that out, along with some of the favorites to win the 81st Connecticut Open.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Carlson finishes tied for third at NE Amateur

Brian Carlson from Clinton Country Club shot a 72-hole total of 5-under-par 283 to finish third at the 86th New England Amateur championship Thursday at Baker Hill Golf Club in Newbury, New Hampshire.

Nick McLaughlin from Massachusetts won the title with a 7-under 281.

Zack Zaback (TPC River Highlands) and Chris Wiatr (CC of Waterbury) were the next best finishers from Connecticut, tying for fifth place at 3-under 285.

Travelers Championship moves to early August in 2016

The Travelers Championship will not be held the week after the U.S. Open next year for the first time since Travelers took over title sponsorship.

The golf tournament announced Thursday that the event will be held Aug. 1-7, 2016, instead of the third week in June. The PGA Tour’s entire 2016 summer schedule has been revamped due to the Summer Olympics.

Golf will be held in the Olympics (Aug. 5-21, 2016) for the first time. Sixty players will participate with up to four players from each country represented and the top 15 in the world rankings automatically qualify. Those dates are Aug. 11-14, 2016.

“We are the lead-in event to the Olympic men’s golf competition,” said Andy Bessette, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Travelers. “Golfers want to play the week before  a major. We will see if players play the week before the Olympics. There were two weeks of an eight-week period I wanted. One was our normal week and the other was the first week in August. I think our field be very, very good.”

The Travelers Championship will return to the week after the U.S. Open in 2017. Bessette said “the tour doesn’t talk about dates much, but I’m assuming the dates are that week for ‘17 and beyond,”

The 2016 Travelers will follow the PGA Championship, normally held in mid-August, which moved up to the July 28-31 slot so to not coincide with the Olympics.The PGA will be held at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield Township, New Jersey.

Travelers normally provides a charter flight for players and their families from the U.S. Open to its event. Bessette said Travelers is already considering transportation from Connecticut to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, site of the Summer Olympics.

TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, a PGA Tour property and site of the Travelers Championship, will undergo a multi-million dollar project scheduled to begin in October, according to Bessette. That will include the movement and renovation of bunkers, modifications to greens and enhancement for fans viewing play on the final four holes.

“We are planning to flatten the hill and retaining wall behind the 16th hole so the area can accept a small grandstand to sit behind 16,” Bessette said. “We are also looking to thin out some of the brush between the 15th fairway and the 16th tee box (so fans on 15 can see players tee off on 16).”