2017 Travelers Championship
2017 Travelers Championship
(The 32nd of 43 events in the PGA TOUR Season)
Cromwell, Conn.                      June 22-25, 2017                                  FedExCup Points: 500 to the winner
TPC River Highlands                Par/Yardage: 35-35—70/6,841              Purse: $6,800,000 ($1,224,000)
Second-Round Notes – Friday, June 23, 2017
Weather: Mostly cloudy skies with warm and muggy conditions and a high of 85. Wind SSW 10-20 mph.
Due to expected inclement weather on Friday evening and Saturday morning, third-round tee times will be approximately 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in threesomes off Nos. 1 and 10.
Cut: 85 players made the cut at even-par 140 from a field of 156 professionals.
Second-Round Leaderboard
Jordan Spieth                63-69—132  (-8)
Troy Merritt                   65-68—133  (-7)
Patrick Reed                 67-66—133  (-7)
Jordan Spieth
First-round leader Jordan Spieth, making his first start in the Travelers Championship, followed his 7-under 63— his lowest opening-round score on the PGA TOUR—with a 1-under 69 on Friday, featuring four birdies, one bogey, and one double-bogey on the par-5 13th.
Spieth leads the field in Strokes Gained: Total
SG: Approach the Green            2.813 (21st)
SG: Around the Green               3.406 (1st)
SG: Putting                               2.046 (37th)
SG: Total                                  8.868 (1st)
This marks Spieth’s ninth 36-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR. Of the previous eight, he was able to convert for the win at the 2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open, 2016 SBS Tournament of Champions, and most recently the 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
This also marks the first time Spieth has led/co-led after 36 holes in a tournament debut.
The last player to win the Travelers Championship in his first start was Phil Blackmar in 1985.
Highlighted by a 1st (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am), a 2nd (DEAN & DELUCA Invitational) and two 3rds (SBS Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii), Spieth has collected six top-10 finishes in 15 starts this season, and his win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February marked his 10th career win on the PGA TOUR.
Spieth is one of five winners of the FedExCup in this week’s field; Rory McIlroy (2016), Jordan Spieth (2015), Brandt Snedeker (2012), Jim Furyk (2010) and Vijay Singh (2008).
Second-Round Leader Stats
Dating to 2000, the second-round leader/co-leader at the Travelers Championship has gone on to win five times: Bubba Watson (2015), Kenny Perry (2009), Stewart Cink (2008), Peter Jacobsen (2003) and Notah Begay III (2000).
The best opening 36-hole score at the Travelers Championship is 14-under 126, set by Justin Rose in 2010 (finished T9).
Only two players have won the tournament in wire-to-wire fashion – Gene Littler in 1959 and Tim Morris in 1982. A total of 10 players have won the tournament after holding at least a share of the lead after each round.
The second-round leader/co-leader has won 15 of 31 stroke-play events this season, most recently Brooks Koepka at the U.S. Open.
Troy Merritt
Entering this week on the heels of four straight missed cuts, Troy Merritt posted rounds of 65-68 to sit one stroke behind leader Jordan Spieth heading into the weekend. Merritt’s 65 in round one tied his low round on TOUR this season (Waste Management Phoenix Open/R3). Merritt made three birdies against one bogey on the par-3 No. 16.
In five previous appearances at the Travelers Championship, Merritt missed the cut four times, with a T67 in 2014 his best finish.
In 20 starts this season, the 2015 Quicken Loans National winner has missed 12 cuts and has recorded four top-25 finishes, with his best finish a T11 at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Merritt has advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs each of the past three seasons, with his best finish in the standings 56th in 2015.
En route to winning the 2015 Quicken Loans National, Merritt was coming off five straight missed cuts
This marks the second time Merritt has been T2 or better through 36 holes. He held a four-shot lead after the second round and a three-shot advantage through 54 holes at the 2015 RBC Heritage but closed with a 69 to finish third.
Patrick Reed
Making his sixth start in the Travelers Championship, five-time PGA TOUR winner Patrick Reed followed up an opening-round 67 with a 66 in round two, marked by five birdies, including a 24-foot birdie putt on No.1 and a 13’5” birdie putt on his last hole, No. 18. Like Merritt, Reed’s lone bogey of the second round came at the par-3 16th.
This marks the 11th time Reed has been T2 or better through 36 holes. Of the previous 10, he was able to convert for the victory four times.
In his five previous starts at this event, Reed’s best finish was T11 in 2016. He was T2 through 36 holes in 2013 but went on to finish T18.
Reed has made 16 cuts in 19 starts this season on TOUR, including eight top-25 and one top-10 finish—T6 at the SBS Tournament of Champions in January. He finished T13 at the U.S. Open last week.
Reed ended the 2015-16 season a career-best No. 3 in the FedExCup standings, thanks to his first FedExCup Playoffs victory at THE NORTHERN TRUST. He is currently 75th in the FedExCup standings. The FedExCup Playoffs are nine weeks away.
Wesley Bryan
Making his first start in the Travelers Championship, 2016 Web.com Tour Player of the Year Wesley Bryan posted matching 67s in the opening two rounds.
The 2017 RBC Heritage champion became the third PGA TOUR rookie to win this season, joining fellow Web.com Tour graduates Cody Gribble (2017 Sanderson Farm Championship) and Mackenzie Hughes (2017 The RSM Classic).
In 19 starts this season, Bryan has made 12 cuts and posted four top-10 finishes. He has missed three cuts in his last four starts, including his first appearance at the U.S. Open.
Daniel Summerhays
Utah native Daniel Summerhays carded only two bogeys in his first 36 holes, posting scores of 66-68 to sit two strokes behind leader Jordan Spieth.
This marks the ninth time Summerhays has been T4 or better through 36 holes. He is in search of his first career PGA TOUR victory in his 188th start. His best finishes on TOUR are a pair of T2s (2013 Sanderson Farms Championship; 2014 Valero Texas Open).
In 21 starts this season, Summerhays has made 13 cuts and recorded two top-25s and one top-10 finish (T10/the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide).
Summerhays has advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs for the past five seasons, with a career-best finish of 31st in 2015.
Chase Seiffert
Monday qualifier and Panama City, Fla., native Chase Seiffert posted rounds of 68-66 and is T4 through 36 holes. Seiffert had two eagles on his second-round scorecard—he holed out for eagle on the par-4 No. 3 from 138 yards and made a six-foot putt for eagle on the par-5 No. 13.
The 25-year-old was a college teammate at Florida State with the 2017 U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka. Seiffert missed the cut at the 2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic in his PGA TOUR debut as a sponsor exemption right out of college.
This is Seiffert’s second successful attempt at Monday qualifying this season. He also played The RSM Classic, finishing T74. Since turning pro in 2013, he has played in six Web.com Tour events (one top-25 finish) and 11 Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada events (two top-25 finishes).
Miscellaneous Notes
Bangalore, India native Anirban Lahiri—who is making his first start at the Travelers Championship—posted a bogey-free 7-under 63 in his second round, a 10-stroke improvement from his 73 in round one. Lahiri’s 63 is a new career-low, with 64 his previous low round (2017 CareerBuilder Challenge/R3, 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge/R1). Lahiri, who started round two on hole 10, went eagle-birdie-birdie on holes 13-15 and made 150 total feet of putts.
After a T2 finish at the 2017 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide—his best career finish—Lahiri took two weeks off and spent 10 days at a Vipassana Meditation Center in Massachussetts. Lahiri has meditated for 13 years.
Despite hitting only five of 14 fairways, Patrick Rodgers—who made his professional debut here—hit 14 of 18 greens and holed 129 feet, 10 inches of putts in his second round en route to a 5-under 65, tying his low round on the PGA TOUR this season (The RSM Classic/R3). Rodgers, who finished T3 at the 2016 Travelers Championship—is in search of his first PGA TOUR victory. His lone professional win came at the Web.com Tour’s 2015 Colombia Championship Presented by Claro. His best finish this season is a T4 at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Jim Furyk, who posted a final-round, 12-under 58 in last year’s final round of the Travelers Championship, opened with a 3-under 67 (T19), followed by a 2-under 68 in round two (T8). Furyk is making his sixth start in the Travelers Championship. In addition to last year’s T5 finish—where he beat the final-round scoring average by 10.66 strokes—he also finished inside the top five in 2000 (4th).
Two-time Travelers Championship winner (2010, 2015) Bubba Watson followed his first-round 5-over 75—his highest score in the event in 39 rounds—with a 3-under 67 to miss the cut. This is his second missed cut in 11 appearances at the Travelers Championship. Watson missed the cut at the U.S. Open last week after rounds of 75-73. This week’s missed cut marks his sixth missed cut in 14 starts this season.
After posting a 2-over 72 in round one, World No. 1 Jason Day shot an even-par 70 in the second round to miss the cut by two strokes. Day signed for a par on the par-four No. 4, when he actually recorded a birdie-three. In three starts at this event, this is Day’s first missed cut.
2016 FedExCup winner and World No. 3 Rory McIlroy posted scores of 67-73 in his first appearance at the Travelers Championship to make the cut on the number. McIlroy had five bogeys in his second round (Nos. 5, 11, 12, 16,18)
Defending champion Russell Knox posted scores of 69-70 to sit seven strokes back of leader Jordan Spieth. Should Knox go on to win this week, he would join Phil Mickelson as the only back-to-back winners of the Travelers Championship. Mickelson successfully defended his title in 2002.
With its commitment to bring top young players to Connecticut each year, former up-and-coming players like Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler, Ryo Ishikawa, Kyle Stanley, Morgan Hoffmann, Patrick Cantlay, Patrick Rodgers and Jon Rahm have been granted exemptions by the tournament and made their professional debut in Hartford. This year, the exemptions went to Beau Hossler (T8), Ryan Ruffels (MC), Brett Coletta (MC) and recent University of Oregon grad Wyndham Clark (MC).
Seven past champions of the Travelers Championship are in the field: Russell Knox/2016 (T55), Bubba Watson/2015, 2010 (MC), Kevin Streelman/2014 (T55), Ken Duke/2013 (MC), Marc Leishman/2012 (T27), Hunter Mahan/2007 (T55) and J.J. Henry/2006 (T55).
A total of 17 players have picked up their first TOUR win at the Travelers Championship: Ken Duke (2013), Marc Leishman (2012), Fredrik Jacobson (2011), Bubba Watson (2010), Hunter Mahan (2007), J.J. Henry (2006), Brent Geiberger (1999), Olin Browne (1998), Stewart Cink (1997), Billy Ray Brown (1991), Mark Brooks (1988), Mac O’Grady (1986), Phil Blackmar (1985), Tim Norris (1982), Don Bies (1975), Charles Sifford (1967) and Bob Toski (1953).
Stuart Appleby WD due to a back injury.
Bogey-free rounds:
R1: Padraig Harrington (66), Xander Schauffele (66)
R2: Cody Gribble (69), Anirban Lahiri (63), Geoff Ogilvy (65), C.T. Pan (68), Tim Wilkinson (66)
Scoring Averages at the par-70 TPC River Highlands:
            Front 9             Back 9             Total                Cumulative
R1:       34.808              35.237              70.045              —
R2:       35.222              35.601              70.824              70.434
Morning scoring average: 70.46
Afternoon scoring average: 71.18
The par-4 10th hole played the toughest during the first round, yielding a 4.190 average. The par-4 15th was the easiest with a 3.843 average.