It’s been 130 days since an Australian last won on the PGA TOUR but there are eight in action at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut this week hoping to add their names to the list of Aussie winners in 2020.
Headlined by 2012 champion and Farmers Insurance Open victor Marc Leishman, there is a deeper Australian presence at TPC River Highlands thanks to the inclusion of veterans Greg Chalmers and Cameron Percy, both making their first appearances since the PGA TOUR’s resumption two weeks ago.
Two-time Australian Open champion Matt Jones is the only Australian to have made the cut in both of the tournaments played since the coronavirus shutdown in March and likes his prospects of registering a second PGA TOUR win at the Travelers.
“I’ve played well here over the years,” Jones said from Cromwell on Wednesday morning.
“Maybe not for 72 holes, but I know I’ve been up there a few times.
“It’s a golf course I really enjoy and I really like, and it’s going to play firm and fast here, which is going to be great for the Aussies.
“We’re going to get some rain tomorrow, but I think come the weekend, the greens are going to get purple. They’re going to let them go a little.
“It’s going to be a really good test. If I can hit it like I did today for the whole week, I’ll be good and I’ll have a chance.”
In nine previous starts at TPC River Highlands Jones has a best finish of tied for 13th in 2010 and was top 20 again two years ago when he opened with rounds of 65-66 to sit near the top of the leaderboard at the halfway mark.
Possessing a similar parkland look to his home club of The Australian Golf Club where he claimed the Stonehaven Cup for a second time last December, Jones has posted sub-70 in 15 of his 27 rounds at the venue.
There is also a strong Aussie influence at the Utah Championship, the third of the Korn Ferry Tour’s resumed season.
Last week’s top finisher Brett Coletta has not made the trip west to the tournament where Jeff Woodland won in 1992 and Kiwi Steven Alker triumphed in 2013, Alker returning for another shot at the title.
The Aussies in the field are Ryan Ruffels, Brett Drewitt, Mark Hensby, Jamie Arnold and Harrison Endycott.
Round 1 tee times AEST
TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut
8.45pm* Matt Jones, Brian Gay, Byeong Hun An
8.55pm Cameron Davis, Talor Gooch, Harry Higgs
10.05pm* Marc Leishman, Max Homa, Adam Long
10.25pm Cameron Percy, Emiliano Grillo, Patrick Rodgers
2am Danny Lee, Bronson Burgoon, Scott Harrington
2.40am Jason Day, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Chappell
3.10am Cameron Smith, Corey Conners, Brendan Steele
3.20am* Greg Chalmers, Luke Donald, Stewart Cink
3.30am Aaron Baddeley, Jason Kokrak, Jamie Lovemark
Defending champion: Chez Reavie
Past Australian winners: Greg Norman (1995), Marc Leishman (2012)
Top Aussie prediction: Marc Leishman
TV schedule: Live 5am-8am Friday and Saturday; 3am-8am Sunday and Monday on Fox Sports 503
Korn Ferry Tour
Oakridge Country Club, Farmington, Utah
11.55pm* Ryan Ruffels, Michael Miller, John VanDerLaan
12.25am* Steven Alker, Patrick Fishburn, Cyril Bouniol
1.05am* Brett Drewitt, Mark Baldwin, Will Cannon
4.30am* Mark Hensby, José de Jesús Rodríguez, Alex Cejka
4.40am Jamie Arnold, Luke Guthrie, Marcelo Rozo
6.10am* Harrison Endycott, Lorens Chan, Steve Lewton
Defending champion: Kristoffer Ventura
Past Australasian winners: Jeff Woodland (1992), Steven Alker (2013)
Top Aussie prediction: Harrison Endycott
TV schedule: Live 8am-10am Friday, Saturday, Sunday; 8am-11am Monday on Fox Sports 503