CROMWELL, Conn. (WTNH) – The Travelers Championship tournament begins on Thursday, and some of the biggest names in golf are gathered in Cromwell for the event.
But, one highly anticipated golfer is not in attendance. Justin Thomas, ranked 5th in the entire world, has withdrawn from the tournament due to back issues. Thomas made sure to announce the cancellation was not due to him going to the LIV tour.
Brooks Koepka, on the other hand, did state on Wednesday he was leaving the PGA tour for the LIV tour.
Pros were out on the course Wednesday for the celebrity Pro-Am. With the tournament’s return, so followed many of the tournament regulars. Some of those big names include Doug Flutie and Chris Berman, UConn’s football and hockey coaches.
Watch the video above for the full interview with Kaitlin Rocheleau.
Former UConn and NFL quarterback, and ESPN analyst, Dan Orlovsky was paired up with former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield. Both are regulars at the TPC River Highlands.
“As far as like what the day is, they do an incredible job of, you know, going out of their way to make you feel comfortable and your family feels comfortable. And I’ve said this for years now. It’s one of my favorite days,” Orlovsky said.
“They do such a great job raising money for all different kinds of causes here in Connecticut. And, you know, being on the Red Sox Foundation, we do the same thing in Massachusetts,” added Wakefield.
The tournament play starts at 6:45 a.m. on Thursday morning.
There are some new places for regular fans to get out of the weather and sit down this year, and those are at four different holes. And every year, there is an entire medical team standing by to help staff and spectators.
Watch the video above for the full interview with Dr. Jennifer Martin.
Though golf is a sport often associated with leisure, the tournament is just like any other sporting competition, and sometimes things can get rough.
Following your favorite players around the Travelers Championship can mean a lot of walking. Spectators can easily get hot and tired and need a place to rest and re-charge. Fortunately, there is just such a place.
It’s called the Rest & Recharge tent. The idea is pretty simple: A couple of couches are set up in an air-conditioned tent, and there are four of them along the course. It is sponsored by Trinity Health because getting tired and overheated can lead to more serious health issues.
There are also private rooms in the back for parents of young children.
“Come in, sit down, get off your feet for a minute, have a sip of water. We’re offering free sunscreen, and it’s air-conditioned,” said Kaitlin Rocheleau, a spokesperson for Trinity Health New England. “And there’s a TV so you’re not missing any of the action out on the course.”
Serious medical problems can happen anywhere at an event as large as the Travelers, so Trinity is ready with a medical tent, and staff on bikes and carts are roaming all over the course.
“Throughout the entire tournament we have 30 medical providers on staff at any given time,” said Dr. Jennifer Martin, Chief of the Emergency Dept at St. Francis Hospital. “There’s always an emergency physician here. And on the weekends when our crowds rise in size, we have two physicians on staff.”
News 8 sat down with Rocheleau and Dr. Martin at the tournament, who discussed further how the care team responds to medical emergencies anywhere on the property.