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Preview: Travelers Championship

 

Rose running on adrenaline after US Open victory

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) Justin Rose took care of winning his first major championship last week.

This week is more about enjoying himself and playing with the confidence of a U.S. Open champion, Rose said Wednesday.

Rose, who is now ranked third in the world, leads a field of 156 players at the Travelers Championship, on the par-70 TPC River Highlands course that invites golfers to try for birdies. Last year's winner, Marc Leishman, shot a 14-under par, 266.

``It's a perfect week for the week after a major,'' said Rose, who won last week with a score of 1-over 281. ``It's got challenges out there, but the challenge is, can you go low?''

Rose said he planned in advance to play a three-week stretch starting at Merion, and loves the TPC River Highlands course, where he has three top-10 finishes in seven starts. But he acknowledged being a bit tired and said he might have to rely on the adrenaline of his U.S. Open victory to help him through this week. He arrived Tuesday night after a flurry of media appearances in New York.

``I was doing my best to try to soak in being the U.S. Open champion,'' he said. ``Went on some great shows I've seen on TV, and then to be part of it, is a slightly surreal moment too.''

He said he's also looking forward to getting some sleep, some regular meals, and spending time with his children for the first time since hoisting the trophy on Sunday.

``They couldn't care less about the big shiny trophy in the house, to be honest with you,'' he said. ``My little boy for Father's Day made me like a clay trophy, which he colored in. So I told him that was my favorite trophy in the house. So he's good.''

Rose, who is now ranked third in the world, is one of just six top-20 players in the Travelers field. The others are Lee Westwood (12), Keegan Bradley (14), Jason Dufner (17), Ian Poulter (18), and Bubba Watson (19).

Web Simpson (21) also is playing a year after he, too, won the U.S. Open and kept his commitment to play in Cromwell.

But the tournament has a reputation for discovering new talent. The last three champions, including Leishman and Watson, have won their first PGA Tour title here.

``People know my name now,'' Leishman said. ``No one ever knew who I was. I'd get here and the crowd was like, `Who is this bloke here?' And now it's like, `Go Leish or Go Marc.' So I think that's cool.''

Hunter Mahan, who won his first title here in 2007, said it's a low-pressure event that invites new players to make a name for themselves and the veterans to have fun.

``When you come here, it's not quite as intense going into the tournament,'' he said. ``You're a little more, I don't know, almost fluid, and you're just kind of more relaxed and you're just kind of ready to play.''

But not every player is totally focused. Bradley, a New England native and a hockey fan, admitted he was just hoping for a late tee time on Thursday so he could stay up and watch his Boston Bruins play in the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night.

``I love the games so much, I can't miss them,'' he said. ``I'm lucky I got 12:50 tomorrow. I can stay up and watch the game and sleep in and be totally fine.''

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
Travelers Champ field
Joe AffruntiRobert AllenbyStephen Ames
Stuart ApplebyAaron BaddeleySang-Moon Bae
Ricky BarnesCharlie BeljanJonas Blixt
Jason BohnJustin BolliSteven Bowditch
Keegan BradleyMichael BradleyDavid Branshaw
Jonathan ByrdAngel CabreraChad Campbell
Roberto CastroBud CauleyGreg Chalmers
K.J. ChoiGary ChristianStewart Cink
Tim ClarkWill ClaxtonNicolas Colsaerts
Erik ComptonDonald ConstableBen Crane
Jon CurranBen CurtisJohn Daly
Brian DavisGlen DayGraham DeLaet
James DriscollJason DufnerKen Duke
Harris EnglishDerek ErnstMatt Every
Brad FaxonGonzalo Fernandez-CastanoMartin Flores
Rickie FowlerBrad FritschTommy Gainey
Scott GardinerRobert GarrigusBobby Gates
Brian GayTom GillisLucas Glover
Fabian GomezAndres GonzalesJeff Gove
Paul GoydosPaul Haley IIBrian Harman
Padraig HarringtonJ.J. HenryJim Herman
Justin HicksCharley HoffmanMorgan Hoffmann
John HuhTrevor ImmelmanFredrik Jacobson
Zach JohnsonJerry KellyChris Kirk
Colt KnostRussell KnoxBen Kohles
Doug LaBelle IIScott LangleyD.H. Lee
Richard H. LeeMarc LeishmanMichael Letzig
Frank Lickliter IILuke ListDavis Love III
Bill LundeJeff MaggertHunter Mahan
David MathisTroy MattesonBilly Mayfair
William McGirtJay McLuenGeorge McNeill
Eric MeierdierksJohn MerrickBryce Molder
Ryan MooreSeung-yul NohHenrik Norlander
Sean O'HairNick O'HernGreg Owen
Rod PamplingJin ParkCameron Percy
Tim PetrovicCarl PetterssonIan Poulter
Alistair PresnellDicky PrideFran Quinn
Chez ReaviePatrick ReedTag Ridings
John RollinsAndres RomeroJustin Rose
Rory SabbatiniWes Short, Jr.Webb Simpson
Vijay SinghHeath SlocumJoey Snyder III
Kevin StadlerKyle StanleyBrendan Steele
Darron StilesRobert StrebKevin Streelman
Chris StroudBrian StuardDaniel Summerhays
Kevin SutherlandAndrew SvobodaVaughn Taylor
Justin ThomasMichael ThompsonNicholas Thompson
D.J. TrahanCameron TringaleBo Van Pelt
Camilo VillegasJohnson WagnerAaron Watkins
Bubba WatsonMike WeirLee Westwood
Charlie WiChris WilliamsLee Williams
Mark WilsonCasey WittenbergY.E. Yang
Brendon de Jonge 
Strength of field
World RankPlayersNo. in Field
TOP 10Justin Rose (5),Jason Dufner (10)2
TOP 25Zach Johnson (11),Keegan Bradley (15),Lee Westwood (18),Ian Poulter (20),Webb Simpson (24),Bubba Watson (25)6
TOP 50Hunter Mahan (26),Graham DeLaet (32),Rickie Fowler (33),Jonas Blixt (34),Kevin Streelman (36),Bo Van Pelt (42),Ryan Moore (45)7
TOP 100Angel Cabrera (51),Nicolas Colsaerts (52),Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (55),Michael Thompson (57),Robert Garrigus (58),Marc Leishman (61),Brendon de Jonge (63),Roberto Castro (65),Tim Clark (66),Patrick Reed (68),Carl Pettersson (70),Harris English (73),Fredrik Jacobson (77),John Merrick (78),Kyle Stanley (82),John Huh (83),Ken Duke (86),Chris Kirk (90),Padraig Harrington (98)19
Course: TPC River Highlands, Par 70 | Yardage: 6781
HoleParYardageHoleParYardage
10446214434
11315824341
12441134431
13552344481
14442153223
15429665574
16317174443
17443383202
18444494406