Scheffler, McIlroy highlight strong field at Travelers

Jun 22, 2022, 4:21 AM | Updated: 4:24 pm
Golfers play during the Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Wednesda...

Golfers play during the Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Cromwell, Conn. This week's Travelers Championship will feature six of the world's top 15 ranked players, including No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and No. 2 Rory McIlroy. McIlroy, who won the Canadian Open earlier this month and then finished tied for fifth at last week's U.S. Open, is playing in his fourth straight event. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

              Fans watch as Mark Kenton hits off the edge of a water hazard during the Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Cromwell, Conn. This week's Travelers Championship will feature six of the world's top 15 ranked players, including No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and No. 2 Rory McIlroy. McIlroy, who won the Canadian Open earlier this month and then finished tied for fifth at last week's U.S. Open, is playing in his fourth straight event. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
            
              A small umbrella marks the tee box during the Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Cromwell, Conn. This week's Travelers Championship will feature six of the world's top 15 ranked players, including No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and No. 2 Rory McIlroy. McIlroy, who won the Canadian Open earlier this month and then finished tied for fifth at last week's U.S. Open, is playing in his fourth straight event. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
            
              Fans walk in the rain during the Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Cromwell, Conn. This week's Travelers Championship will feature six of the world's top 15 ranked players, including No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and No. 2 Rory McIlroy. McIlroy, who won the Canadian Open earlier this month and then finished tied for fifth at last week's U.S. Open, is playing in his fourth straight event. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
            
              Golfers play during the Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Cromwell, Conn. This week's Travelers Championship will feature six of the world's top 15 ranked players, including No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and No. 2 Rory McIlroy. McIlroy, who won the Canadian Open earlier this month and then finished tied for fifth at last week's U.S. Open, is playing in his fourth straight event. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — It has been an exhausting couple of weeks for the top players on the PGA Tour as they’ve dealt with the usual rigors of a U.S. Open and the unusual stress of losing some big names to the upstart LIV Golf series.

But six of the world’s top 15 ranked players, including No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and No. 2 Rory McIlroy still managed to make the short trip from Brookline, Massachusetts, to Connecticut to play in the Travelers Championship.

McIlroy, who won the Canadian Open two weeks ago and then tied for fifth in the U.S. Open, is playing for the fourth straight week. He’s hoping to keep up the momentum that has seen him rise to his highest ranking since July, 2020, but said he’s feeling both physical and mental fatigue.

“Four weeks in a row is pretty rare for me these days,” the four-time major winner said. “I haven’t played four in a row in a while and you start to remember why.”

Scheffler is playing for a third consecutive week and fourth in the last five. The Masters champion has nine top-10 finishes in 19 starts, including major runner-up showings at Brookline and in May at Colonial.

He acknowledged it would have been an easy time to take a break.

“I like to be a man of my word, and so this would be another event where playing the week after a major is not necessarily easy, especially when you’re in contention,” he said. ” But for me, I’ve, I committed to this event, and I want to be here.”

McIlroy said its important to many top PGA Tour pros to play events like the Travelers, if for nothing else than to support the community of fans those tournaments have built.

“You look at somewhere like Dublin, Ohio,” he said. ” I mean, (Jack Nicklaus) basically built a town around a golf tournament. So when you think about PGA Tour events and what they can do for communities this is a good example, Memorial’s a good example, and obviously a number of others.”

The potential for a showdown between the game’s top ranked players also is important for the tournament, which has had a couple of big names drop out.

Those include Justin Thomas, who withdrew Wednesday to rest an ailing back, and Brooks Koepka, who earlier this week became the latest player to defect to LIV Golf. He plans to play next week in Portland, Oregon, the first LIV event in the United States.

But the allure of the PGA Tour still means something to golfers such as 11-year veteran Harris English, who won last year’s tournament in Connecticut by besting Kramer Hickok in an eigh-hole playoff and will defend that title this week.

“Still have to pinch myself every day that I’m playing on the PGA against the best players in the world,” he said. So I enjoy it out here and like I said, with winning that tournament last year, looking at the names on that trophy, that means more to me than anything. Having my name on a trophy with Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer, you can go down a list of everybody that’s won this tournament. You can’t take that away from me now, my name’s going to be on that trophy for years and years and it’s something I’ll never forget.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Youth team players warm-up ahead of the Black star water polo competition held at the University of...
Associated Press

Ghana water polo grows as sport looks for more diversity

Back at the very beginning, right when the idea of water polo in Ghana started swimming into reality, Asante Prince got out a couple of balls and caps in front of a handful of curious kids. He decided to try a scrimmage, but he had no nets. So they put a soccer bench on each […]
1 day ago
FILE - Austria's Katharina Liensberger speeds down the course during the first run of an alpine ski...
Associated Press

Austrian ski team aims to rediscover its magic at worlds

VIENNA (AP) — Only one skier in the 24-member Austrian squad for the upcoming world championships has won on the Word Cup circuit this season. A star coach left the women’s team mid-January. And “crisis” has become a common word on the ski-mad nation’s sport pages. Has the once dominating “Wunderteam” from Austria lost its […]
1 day ago
FILE - Workers prepare to remove giant Olympic rings from the waterfront area at Odaiba Marine Park...
Associated Press

Tokyo Olympic bribery scandal rolls on; company apologizes

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese company embroiled in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic corruption scandal said Thursday it would strengthen oversight to prevent further wrongdoing. Kadokawa “seriously betrayed public trust,” company president Takeshi Natsuno said. He bowed deeply with two other executives to show remorse in a news conference. Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, the son of the founder, […]
1 day ago
Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) dunks over Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul during the first h...
Associated Press

Murray scores 21 points, Hawks roll past Suns 132-100

PHOENIX (AP) — Trae Young rose up for a 3-pointer in the second half that left his hands way too hard, hurtling toward the basket before slamming off the backboard and through the hoop. Atlanta’s star guard shrugged and ran back down the court with a sheepish grin. Things were going the Hawks way Wednesday […]
1 day ago
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, left, guards Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson, right, during ...
Associated Press

Markkanen, Conley power Jazz to 131-128 win over Raptors

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen had 28 points and 13 rebounds and Mike Conley added a three-point play and two clutch free throws in the closing minutes to lift the Utah Jazz to a 131-128 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. “Taking my time, having a little more patience, not just […]
1 day ago
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) looks to pass while defended by Minnesota Timberwolv...
Associated Press

Russell, Edwards help Timberwolves beat Warriors in OT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — D’Angelo Russell scored 14 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Anthony Edwards took over in overtime after Russell fouled out and the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the Golden State Warriors 119-114 on Wednesday night. Russell fouled out after two quick whistles in the first minute of overtime. That set the stage […]
1 day ago
Scheffler, McIlroy highlight strong field at Travelers