The Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn., will have a much different feel this year.
The PGA tournament, June 24-27, will allow up to 10,000 fans per day following a near-empty course for the 2020 tourney won by Dustin Johnson.
On Monday at the Travelers media day, Johnson said he was eager for the crowds to return after the muted celebration in 2020.
“It felt like junior golf almost, you know, like a couple parents standing around clapping for you,” Johnson said. “But, you know it’s a big win. You know people are watching at home.”
The world No. 1 — who withdrew from this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson with a knee injury — plans to be back to defend his title, and officials are pleased the players will be seeing fans.
“We basically had to make that call in early-to-mid March,” tournament director Nathan Grube told the Hartford Courant late last month. “We’re thrilled (with close to 10,000 fans).
“The amount of energy that that many people will bring to the event, it will be amazing for the players, for the media, for the broadcast. We feel comfortable and excited about that.”
Officials are monitoring vaccination and infection rates and could adjust protocols already in place, such as required mask-wearing and social distancing. But it’s better than no gallery at all.
“How exciting is it going to be on Sunday, to have thousands of fans around the 18th green as our new champion sinks the final putt?” Travelers executive vice president Andy Bessette said. “It won’t just be Nathan and I looking at each other and giving each other high fives about what a great ending it was last year.”
–Field Level Media