Sense of Normalcy Back on TOUR


Travelers ChampionshipCROMWELL, Conn. -- In the wake of the U.S. Open playoff, a sense of normalcy returns to the PGA TOUR with the Travelers Championship.
Hunter Mahan has put his mark on this event in recent years. He finished in a tie for second in 2006, then last year earned his maiden PGA TOUR victory in a playoff against Jay Williamson.
Mahan rolled in a 7-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole of the tournament. Williamson missed a 12-footer that would've won the championship outright, so it was back to 18 for the playoff.
Williamson hit his approach in the extra session near the spot Mahan was in regulation. Mahan stiffed a wedge inside 3 feet. Williamson pushed his birdie effort and Mahan tapped in for birdie and his first PGA TOUR win.
The victory propelled Mahan to a nice end of the season. He rattled off three consecutive top-10s, including a tie for sixth at the British Open. Jack Nicklaus honored him with a captain's pick for the U.S. Presidents Cup team.
This year, Mahan has a pair of top-10 finishes and tied for 18th at last week's U.S. Open.
Williamson won earlier in the year on the Nationwide Tour and graduated to the PGA TOUR this year. Unfortunately for Williamson, he has zero top-10s in 2008 and languishes in 154th on the PGA TOUR money list.
This event was known as the Greater Hartford Open and Buick Championship in recent years.
It was five years ago that Suzy Whaley, an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional from Connecticut, teed it up at this event. Whaley, who won a Connecticut qualifier in the fall of 2002 to gain entrance, missed the cut shooting rounds of 75-78.
GOLF CHANNEL and CBS have coverage this week.
Next week is the Buick Open. Brian Bateman earned his first PGA TOUR victory in Michigan last year.
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