The circuit initiated a strength-of-field regulation this season, which requires players who didn’t have at least 25 starts in the previous season to add an event to their schedules that they hadn’t played in the last four seasons.
In the case of Rory McIlroy, who has missed the last few weeks with a rib injury, it was an easy choice to add the Travelers Championship to his schedule to fulfill the requirement.
“It's nice to be able to play an event you haven't played the last few years. It makes you go to different places,” said McIlroy, who is making his first start at TPC River Highlands. “This year, it's Hartford. I mean, I may come back next year because I like it so much. ... So it's nice you get to go to different places. It's a good incentive to get guys to play different tournaments.”
Jordan Spieth, who played 21 events last season, is also making his first start at the Travelers Championship.