The first tee at TPC River Highlands figures to be a crowded spot at 12:55 p.m. on Thursday.
That’s when the first round of the Travelers Championship begins in Cromwell, Conn., for Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson, and Keegan Bradley, winners of the last three majors, who have been paired together for the first two rounds.
Certainly a buzz-worthy group of young Americans who have established themselves, winning last year’s PGA (Bradley), this year’s Masters (Watson), and last week’s US Open (Simpson).
The tournament also marks the professional debut of Patrick Cantlay, who led the Travelers after shooting a second-round 60 last year, the lowest score by an amateur in PGA Tour history.
Tickets are available at www.travelerschampionship.com.
See you then
Because of his standing on the FedEx Cup points list, Simpson has locked up his spot in the Deutsche Bank Championship, held at TPC Boston over Labor Day weekend. Simpson won last year’s event, but needed to be inside the top 100 on the points list to qualify again and have an opportunity to defend (he’s currently ninth). Tournament tickets are available at the seven area Golf Town locations, by calling 877-849-4322, or at www.dbchampionship.com . . . If you’d like to volunteer at the Deutsche Bank Championship, visit the tournament’s website . . . Forty professionals, including World Golf Hall of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley, and Patty Sheehan, will be competing on Saturday and Sunday in the Hannaford Community Challenge, a Legends Tour event featuring former LPGA stars being played at Falmouth (Maine) Country Club. Tickets are available at www.thelegendstour.com.
There will be seven hopefuls from the Bay State attempting to play their way into this year’s PGA Championship at the 45th PGA Professional National Championship, which starts Sunday at Bayonet and Black Horse golf courses in Seaside, Calif. The club professionals’ signature event awards 20 spots from a field of 312 into the year’s final major championship, which is Aug. 9-12 on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C. The players from Massachusetts who have qualified include Brent Amaral (Westport), Frank Dully (Salem), Rick Durocher (Princeton), John Fields (Belmont), Bob Miller (Yarmouthport), Troy Pare (Seekonk), and Brian Smith (Leominster).
Brittany Altomare overcame a one-hole deficit at the turn with wins at the 10th and 11th, never trailing after that on her way to a 3-and-2 win Wednesday over Gabi Oubre’ of Mobile, Ala., in the first round of match play at the US Women’s Amateur Public Links in Neshanic Station, N.J. Altomare, a 21-year-old from Shrewsbury, moves to the second round on Thursday, where she will face Tiffany Lua, a two-time member of the US Curtis Cup team from Rowland Heights, Calif. . . . Brian Secia of Nantucket and Mark Morse of West Roxbury will play in next month’s US Senior Open, emerging from a qualifier at Vesper Country Club. Secia, an amateur, was medalist with a 70. Morse shot 72, then beat Mo Guttman of Sarasota, Fla., in a playoff for the final spot. The US Senior Open is July 12-15 at Indianwood Golf & Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich. . . . Ryan Kohler (74-68) of Spofford, N.H., and Damon Salo (72-71) of New Ipswich, N.H., earned the two qualifying spots at Bretwood Golf Course for the US Amateur Public Links, which is July 9-14 in Midway, Utah . . . The US Golf Association must have all applications for the US Amateur and US Women’s Amateur by 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Handicap indexes can’t be greater than 2.4 for the US Amateur, and 5.4 for the US Women’s Amateur. The US Amateur, which comes to The Country Club in Brookline and Charles River Country Club next year, is Aug. 13-19 at Cherry Hills Country Club near Denver. Local qualifiers will be held at Sanford Country Club in Maine, Charter Oak Country Club, Crestwood Country Club, and the Orchards Golf Club. The US Women’s Amateur is Aug. 6-12 at The Country Club in Cleveland; the only local qualifier is July 9 at The Country Club in Brookline.
Adam Winiarz, a 15-year-old from Norton, will be attending The First Tee Life Skills and Leadership Academy next month on Long Island after being selected from national chapters of The First Tee. Two other First Tee of Massachusetts members - Melissa Ogunbona (Lynn Classical) and Changlais Jeanmary (Lynn English) - have been awarded $1,000 college scholarships by the Lynnfield Rotary Club . . . Winners at the New England PGA Junior Tour’s Parent/Child event at Nashawtuc included Nathan and John Ingram of Bryantville (boys’ 11 and under), Michael and Casey Kesselring of Manchester, N.H. (boys’ 12-13), Connor and Chris McCarthy of Danvers (boys’ 14-15), Colby and Donald Sedlier of Danvers (boys’ 16-18), Lisa and David Spagnuolo of Wayland (girls’ 13 and under), and Mackenzie and Geoff Millerd of Hingham (girls’ 14-18) . . . Alexander Nielan of Belchertown shot an 80 to win the boys’ 16-18 division in the New England PGA Junior Tour event at New Bedford Country Club. Other winners included Mario Andreozzi of Winchester (boys’ 14-15), Trevor Pennypacker of Holliston (boys’ 12-13), Cole Larimer of South Kingston, R.I. (boys’ 11 and under), and Alexandra Chicharro of Fall River (girls’ 13 and under).
Highs and lows
Julie Henehan and Debbi Mallett of Beverly Golf & Tennis shared low gross (84) and low net (64) at the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts’s Eleanor W. Allen Bowl, held at Presidents Golf Course in Quincy. Brenda Pearse and Diane Fedele of Bear Hill also shot 84, and four other teams had a 64 to tie for low net: Susan Dery and Paisley Rossetti (Westminster), Sandra Jordan and Carol Cahill (Presidents), Jane Keaveney and Joanne Barrett (Walpole), and Maureen O’Brien and Mary Donohue (Wampatuck) . . . Stella Nahatis of Bass Rocks (Class D) and Karen Fossett of Sagamore Spring (Class E) were the winners of the WGAM’s Class D and E Championships, held at Sagamore Spring . . . Mary Shaw of Dennis Pines was the women’s net division winner at the Massachusetts Golf Association Member Days tournament at Ledgemont. Allen Chase of Westminster (men’s gross) and Mike Carlson of Stow Acres (men’s net) also won . . . The team of Jay Driscoll (Wollaston) and Michael Welch (Granite Links) shot 66 and won the gross division of the James McDonough 4-Ball at Wollaston Golf Club. A 65 by Bob Keegan (Wollaston) and Steve O’Neil (Indian Ridge) won the net competition . . . Steve Salvucci of Norwood shot a 71 to win low gross at a Tour of Greater Boston tournament at Highfields Golf & Country Club. Ed McManus of Cambridge won low net with a 65.