TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut
6,841 yards – Par 70 – Bentgrass with Poa Annua Greens
Tournament Stimpmeter: 10.5 to 11 ft. … Slow green speeds
Green Sizes: 5,500 sq. feet .. Smaller Green Sizes
Strength of Field Rating: ~280 OWGR … Weaker than Average Field Strength
Fairways Hit (Field Average): ~69% … Easy-to-Hit Fairways
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): ~67% … Easy-to-Hit Greens
2017: Jordan Spieth -12 over Daniel Berger in a playoff
2016: Russell Knox -14 over Jerry Kelly -13
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
2017: Jordan Spieth -12
2016: Daniel Berger -15
2015: 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
2017: Jordan Spieth -8
2016: Daniel Berger, Russell Henley, Marc Leishman, Tyrone Van Aswegen -7
2015: Bubba Watson -11
2014: Scott Langley -11
2013: Bubba Watson -10
2012: Freddie Jacobson -9
2011: Patrick Cantlay -13
2010: Justin Rose -14
Important Interview Quotes
Q. You played with Jordan the first couple days. 63 the first he time he sees it. Assessing what he sees, what do you think?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: The golf course is tailer made for him. He’s somebody that’s undoubtedly the best wedge player, I think, in the world. If you give him nine wedges on the golf course, he’s going to have a lot of birdie opportunities if he’s driving it somewhat well. I played with him the first two days, and he was driving it really well. -2017
DANIEL BERGER: MY TWO PGA TOUR WINS were back-to-back at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, in 2016 and ’17. You hear about horses for courses, but I swear that isn’t the case for me. St. Jude is at TPC Southwind, a course I like a lot but don’t love as much as others. It’s not tailored for my game exactly. Other TPC courses suit me better—TPC River Highlands and TPC Louisiana come to mind. –GolfDigest.com
Q. Patrick, lot of players were talking about the windy conditions and how that manipulated the ball. How did you put together that 56, despite the conditions?
PATRICK REED: Really just staying patient. A golf course like this, even when the wind is blowing, if you’re hitting your tee shots straight, you’re going to have some wedges into the greens. To start off and make a long putt on the first just kind of gave me the confidence on the green as well. Kind of one of those days I was able to keep the ball in play and give myself some opportunities to make some putts. -2017
Q. You played so well at RBC Heritage. Are there similarities here to Harbour Town?
WESLEY BRYAN: There are. You have to work the ball both ways. It doesn’t demand a lot of length. But, I mean, Jordan’s hitting his driver great right now. I’m just thinking, man, if I could be playing from where he’s hitting some of these tee shots, it could play a lot of easier. But it doesn’t demand a lot of length. You have to be really precise going into the greens, especially where they were tucking some of those flags.
There’s a lot of similarities with workability, working it right and left and controlling your numbers from the fairway. -2017
Q. Your first competitive round on this course. Anything you take away from it?
RORY McILROY: Not particularly. It’s still pretty soft. So you can be aggressive. You can hit a lot of drivers, take it at pins. Hopefully it firms up a little bit as the week goes on. It will get a little trickier, and you just have to really focus on some of the slopes on the greens, because they can catch you out at times. -2017
Q. Tied for third last year in the Travelers Championship. You’ve got to be excited about the weekend now?
PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, I love this event. It’s my fifth time playing it already, which is crazy. It feels very, very comfortable, and it’s a good golf course for me, so I’m looking forward to playing some good golf over the weekend. -2017
Q. What is it about the course?
GRAHAM DeLAET: It’s just a course I really like. It fits my eye well. Everyone kind of has those courses that they just love to go to every year and this is one of them for me. -2017
Q. This has to be a special day for you, long way from finishing, but to shoot the season-low round with family and friend, you grew up 30 miles from here. This has to be special?
BRETT STEGMAIER: This is my fourth time playing, came in with really low expectations today. I think that certainly helps play a good round, stress-free. So long way to go, but definitely nice to get off to a good start.
It’s one I want to think about the most other than a major but tried not to think about that. Tried to practice good coming up here and have a stress-free round tomorrow. -2017
Q. Did you think this would be your kind of course coming into the week and what have you found?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I had no idea until we kind of got on the grounds and I saw Michael on Tuesday before we played any holes, and he said, “This course is tailor made for you,” is what he said. I love the back nine. I think it’s a very exciting nine holes of golf, one of the coolest stretches that we play where anything can happen. So that’s good and bad when you’re leading.
So again, yeah, I thought it was a really good golf course for us. You kind of maneuver the ball both ways. You’ve kind of got to watch out for — you’ve got some clearings where the wind affects it more than other times where you’re kind of in the valleys. But overall, poa annua greens, historically, aren’t my best, and so today was a big confidence boost. The rest of the golf course I really love. The greens are just tough. -2017
Q. Can you talk a little bit about this course, it seems like it’s completely different from the course last week other than the 18 hole?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, absolutely. This is one of my favorite courses, obviously, on the PGA TOUR. A lot of guys, not just me, I think the last nine holes here at TPC River Highlands is as good as it gets. I mean, anything can happen here.
Yeah, I mean, completely different from last week. It’s a lot shorter, a lot tighter, but it doesn’t make it any easier. The scores here — I always think this course, if you tee off in the morning, the conditions, you can always shoot a mega low score. That’s what Jim Furyk did last year on Sunday. But as the day goes on, teeing off in the afternoon, especially on a weekend, shooting under par is a great score if you tee off at 1, 2 o’clock. So the course changes significantly as the day goes on, just the firmness of the greens. I think players like that. -2017
Q. Second time here. I know they did a lot tweaking to the golf course. Took out of a bunch of bunkers that you used to have to deal with. What do you think of the changes?
JON RAHM: Well, probably because I’m playing better I feel like the course is easier, but I do like some of the changes. I do like what they’ve done on No.4. They put the bunker on the left a little more in play.
So now it’s really hard to carry that bunkers unless you fly 315, which only very few can do. I do like it. Basically the reshaping of the bunkers that were already there makes it aesthetically pleasing. The course is beautiful. It’s in great shape. -2016
Q. You’ve played here before. With the subtle changes that were made, did it affect you at all?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: No. They didn’t change too much. They still kept the general slopes and things; still had some of the same pin placements. Was very familiar with what was going on, so it was good. Great changes they made. Everything looks better. The course looks great. -2016
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”