TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut
6,841 yards – Par 70 – Bentgrass Greens
Tournament Stimpmeter: 10.5 to 11 ft. … Slow green speeds
Green Sizes: 5,500 sq. feet .. Smaller Green Sizes
Strength of Field Rating: ~275 OWGR … Weaker than Average Field Strength
Fairways Hit (Field Average): ~70% … Easy-to-Hit Fairways
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): ~67% … Easy-to-Hit Greens
2015: Bubba Watson -16 over Paul Casey in a playoff
2014: Kevin Streelman -15 over K.J. Choi, Sergio Garcia -14
2013: Ken Duke -12 over Chris Stroud in a playoff
2012: Marc Leishman -14 over Bubba Watson, Charley Hoffman -13
2011: Freddie Jacobson -20 over Ryan Moore, John Rollins -19
2010: Bubba Watson -14 over Scott Verplank, Corey Pavin in a playoff
2014: Brian Harman -14
2014: Ryan Moore -13
2013: Graham DeLaet, Bubba Watson, Charley Hoffman -10
2012: Brian Davis, Roland Thatcher -12
2011: Fredde Jacobson -16
2010: Justin Rose -16
2014: Bubba Watson -11
2014: Scott Langley -11
2013: Bubba Watson -10
2012: Freddie Jacobson -9
2011: Patrick Cantlay -13
2010: Justin Rose -14
Course Horses (since 2006)
Bubba Watson … 68.931 strokes gained in 34 rounds
Ryan Moore … 68.594 strokes gained in 34 rounds
Hunter Mahan … 66.243 strokes gained in 34 rounds
J.J. Henry … 49.615 strokes gained in 38 rounds
Bo Van Pelt … 47.761 strokes gained in 34 rounds
David Toms … 45.453 strokes gained in 24 rounds
Carl Pettersson … 43.711 strokes gained in 30 rounds
Vijay Singh … 43.538 strokes gained in 34 rounds
Important Interview Quotes
Q. Obviously a great track record on this course. But it’s not the longest course you play out here. Did your length have more of an impact on a shorter course or longer course, which one is more of an advantage for you?
BUBBA WATSON: It all depends on how it’s set up. My track record, I only played Hilton Head once, didn’t play very good, so I didn’t go back. Colonial, I haven’t played very well there, so I don’t go back. So it just depends on what the course is, what kind of grass it is, all those variables. So that’s what I check at the beginning of the year. Where I want to play and what kind of course I want to play. -2015
CARL PETTERSSON: I really like the golf course. It kind of fits my eye and it’s fun to play. I think the front nine is old school, parkland golf course, and the back nine turns into a bit more of risk-reward modern TPC. So it’s a fun course to play. -2015
Q. Did it play pretty fair? It seems most of the golfers will say this course will reward you if you hit good shots. If you hit poor shots you’ll be penalized. Is that how you see it, and is that how it played today?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: That’s a very true assessment. If you hit it around the flag and you’re in the fairway, it’s going to stay around the flag. But if you don’t hit it around the flag and you miss a few off to the side, you can get short-sided very quickly out here. So you have to kind of find your way around the golf course. You definitely have to make sure you miss it on the fat side of the green, because if you get short-sided out here, it’s impossible. The rough is very thick and penal, so you’ve got to hit the fairway to hit the green. -2015
Q. How easy was it to change your mindset from the grind of last week to being aggressive out here?
HARRIS ENGLISH: Well, I think the good thing was I didn’t play last week, so I got to go back to St. Simons Island and lay on the beach and relax. I feel like some of these guys are coming in here pretty beat up from last week. The U.S. Open is always a grind. But I feel very refreshed and I think it showed today. -2015
Q. You told us earlier in the week that you were driving the ball well and you hit a lot of wedges out here. Is that the most fun thing about playing this golf course, or what is the most fun playing this golf course?
BUBBA WATSON: That these greens are perfect. These greens are running so smoothly. Yesterday I added it up after I left the media center. I had three holes that I didn’t have a wedge into it, so three par-3s I had a longer iron, I guess you’d say. Today was different because the wind conditions were different. They were faster, and they were coming from a different direction so made the golf course a little bit tougher. -2015
Q. You have some great memories here, obviously, at this course. Two years ago you came so close to a championship. What’s it like to be back here and playing so well?
CHRIS STROUD: It’s awesome. This course is great for me. I’m not a bomber, so it’s nice to be able to have a lot of short irons into the greens. I even have a note in my yardage book, as long as I’m sharp from 100 yards to 165 this week, I can make a lot of birdies, and I’ve done that so far this week. -2015
Q. A boy from the southeast you’re used to Bermuda, and you go on the bentgreens from the northeast. What’s it about the course that fits your eye?
BRIAN HARMAN: I played this tournament as an amateur when I was 16, and I liked it then. So it’s just always suited my eye. I really like the way the tee shots are framed. It’s an extremely fair course. It’s a good short hole, a good long hole. Just a great golf course. -2015
Q. This is a course where you’ve played well in the past. You had a great finish last year. Is that motivation for this year?
SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely. Any time it’s like Sawgrass, like THE PLAYERS, obviously a course that I love and I enjoy playing this course too. Every time you have good feelings about a golf course or about a tournament, it’s something that you have gained already before the week starts. I’m excited about it, and looking forward to having a good weekend ahead. -2015
Q. Currently leading the field this week in greens in regulation. Hitting a lot of really good iron shots this week.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, you have to. This is a golf course where the green is relatively small, but they’re tucking the pins away and putting them on some funky little slopes. If you short side yourself, especially if you get over these greens, you’re going to be in a world of hurt. I’ve been striking it very, very well, good control of the spin and good distance control, obviously. -2015
Q. You just gave your reasons why it’s important for you to come back. Not everyone that wins every tournament is able to come back every time, but most of them do, and there are some circumstances, but do you ever foresee anything unforeseen, or barring that, do you think you’ll always be back here for this because of the reasons you just gave or do you think there is something that maybe sometime you won’t be able to?
BUBBA WATSON: No, this one is always on the schedule. Medical problems are different, but I don’t see that there’s a reason for me not to be here. I can’t see there’s any reason. I’m going to be here any time I’m in the field, or if I need an invite in the field, I’m going to be asking. So I’m going to try to be here as much as I can. I would say 100 percent I won’t miss it, unless I win a couple majors early, and then just be like, hey, guys, I happened to win back-to-back majors so I’m sitting out. We know that ain’t happening. -2014
Q. How was it? How did the golf course play out there today?
BUBBA WATSON: It’s soft. It’s soft like it normally is, but they put the pins in spots where it’s hard to get to. So you know, they try to make sure that it’s not too gettable. Obviously every round we’re going to have a guy that plays good because everybody is pretty good on the PGA TOUR. So right now there’s some low scores. -2014
Q. What is it about TPC River Highlands that makes you so comfortable with this layout?
BUBBA WATSON: I love the way it looks. You know, it sets up good. There’s a lot of shots, a lot of tee shots where I have to cut the ball and I like cutting the ball off the tee. A lot of wedges, a lot of short irons in here, so it plays right into my hands. -2014
Q. You always seem to play well here. What is it about this track that you enjoy?
RYAN MOORE: There are probably a few factors. Being that it’s the week after the U.S. Open I think helps. Golf just seems so much easier when you’re not playing on a U.S. Open golf course. So I think to some extent it allows me to relax a little bit and kind of go play golf again. Where you’re standing over every shot of the U.S. Open trying to not make double.
So I think that’s part of it. Besides that, I’m from the Pacific Northwest, and the grass and the greens are very similar to this, so it kind of always has a little feel of what I grew up on, which I think that just adds a certain amount of comfort. Besides that, I think overall the course fits my eye really well. The tee shots and second shots into the greens, I’m very comfortable with them. -2014
Q. What do you like about this course?
RYAN MOORE: You know, it’s hard to say sometimes why a course fits your eye or doesn’t. But I feel like from the git-go, it’s kind of reminded me how I’m from the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle area. So this area kind of reminds me that the grasses are similar, the greens are similar. Anytime you get on stuff that kind of reminds you of what you grew up on, there is always a certain level of comfort there. -2014
Q. You told me earlier in the week this was the first event you ever attended as a fan growing up in nearby Vermont. What does this tournament mean to you?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: It means a lot. We only get two events in New England all year. This one of them. So this is a big event for me and my family and one that I would love to win some day. -2014
Q. Is there a comfort level when you come back here? Are the memories flooding back or is that an exaggeration?
KEN DUKE: No, it’s not. I was just telling someone earlier it kind of feels like my home course and I’ve only played here four, five, six times. I think this golf course just sets up good for me. There are some short holes, some longer holes, and it just sets up with my eye. As you know out here on the PGA TOUR, guys play courses that suit their game, and this one suits my game. But all the great memories from last year and other years that I played here, it’s been really special. -2014
Q. You like it here. You top 10’d here last year.
BLAKE ADAMS: Absolutely. It’s a nice layout for me. I like it. It’s a laid-back atmosphere, kind of like I am, and go and just make birdies. That’s all you do around here, and I was fortunate to do that today. -2012
Q. Just curious if it’s more, you know, this course suits your game or is it more having played welcoming off the U. S. Open, obviously a very difficult golf course, and being dialed in there and taking that series. Is it that or more this course kind of fits your eye better?
FREDRIK JACOBSON: I think it’s more the way I’m playing than with the course. I think last year I really felt like things started to click at the U. S. Open, I’d been doing fairly well in Memphis. Last year I played solid at the Open. Similar this time.
I think any course you gotta feel like you hit the ball well and you gotta keep doing it and be consistent. So I do like the course, but I did that the first three, four times when I came here I missed the cut, too. I did like the course. So I think it’s more important the way I’m playing. -2012
Q. This is a golf course that will give up some runs and you had a couple of them, but it’ll also, just about the time you think you got a really good one going, will come back and bite you. Even the good rounds today. Your 65 one of them had a couple bogeys.
STUART APPLEBY: Well, I’d say this course is probably tough when they tuck the pins 3-4 or 4-5 left or right or whatever it is and you shortside yourself, you have got probably the hardest stretch of chipping you’re ever going to see. You miss three or four left or short or whatever dead side, you’re really dead. You’re coming up four or five-foot banks, really steep. You’re trying to putt double breaks getting up and down. The hardest is if you short side yourself here, you’ll drop more shots than I think anywhere else because it’s just diabolical. -2012
Quotes found at ASAPsports.com
2016: TPC River Highlands received renovations since the 2015 edition.
“The primary focus of the project was the renovation and repositioning of the bunkers, while several greens and tee boxes were also modified. PGA TOUR players will get their first look at the finished product during the Travelers Championship the week of Aug. 1-7. These enhancements, as well as work on the infrastructure, will strengthen the member and guest experience throughout the year.
Agronomic and architectural enhancements to TPC River Highlands include:
- Rebuilding, repositioning, and restyling of all bunkers, incorporating new drainage and sand for improved playability (see below)
- Surgical lifting of the front edges or corners of select greens, providing an increased number of pin positions
- Leveling of select tournament tee boxes, including a new tee complex at No. 15
- Improve routing and repair select cart paths
- Stabilization of lake bank edges to avoid further erosion and improve aesthetics
- Supplementation and enhancement of drainage throughout the golf course”