AROUND THE HORN: Bubba Watson returning to River Highlands; Cheshire’s Dietrich sets course record

AROUND THE HORN: Bubba Watson returning to River Highlands; Cheshire’s Dietrich sets course record


Bubba Watson will return to TPC River Highlands this August to defend his Travelers Championship crown .(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Watson will be back to defend crown

HARTFORD — Bubba Watson will return to defend his crown when the 2016 Travelers Championship plays at TPC River Highlands the first week in August.

The Travelers announced Watson’s commitment on Wednesday. He’ll be in Cromwell on June 20 for Media Day.

“Bubba is one of our tournament’s biggest ambassadors and we’re thrilled that he’ll be back to defend his title this summer,” said Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube. “He has a great history here and fans love seeing him.”

Watson is indeed one of the tournament’s most charismatic and successful competitors. The long-hitting left-hander from Florida earned the first of his nine PGA Tour victories in 2010 at River Highlands and, in his nine appearances in Cromwell, he’s been in the top five on six occasions.

His two victories here were both dramatic. Both came in playoffs. His 396-yard drive on the 72nd hole in 2010, which set up the first playoff with Corey Pavin and Scott Verplank, remains the longest in tournament history.

The two-time Masters winner stands No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He won the Northern Trust Open earlier this year.

With golf being included in the Rio Olympics this summer, the Travelers has been moved from its traditional post-U.S. Open date in late June to the week of August 1-7.

Cheshire’s Dietrich shoots record round

UNCASVILLE — UConn golfer Eric Dietrich, a junior from Cheshire, shot a course-record 64 at Mohegan Sun Golf Course to lead the Huskies to a first-place finish at the Til Duty Is Done Invitational.

Dietrich’s record round capped a three-round aggregate of 203 (73-66-64). That put Dietrich at 13-under for the tournament, three strokes ahead of runner-up Evan Russell of the University of Hartford.

It was the first tournament victory of Dietrich’s collegiate career. He was one of four Huskies to shoot under par and five to finish in the top 10.

UConn took the team title by 11 strokes. The 13-team tournament featured 12 college squads and one club comprised of military veterans.

The event honored Til Duty Is Done, a Connecticut-based organization that helps returning military veterans with housing, employment and education.

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