Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Live from the Traveler's Championship

This week Golfdom contributing editor Anthony Pioppi is working from the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship. Tony checks in today with his first report from the course. -- S.J.

At the 2010 PGA Tour's Travelers Championship, the story was heat with
a relentless procession of 90-plus-degree days. This year, Tom
DeGrandi, superintendent at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., is
having to deal with rain. Today's celebrity pro-am was suspended at
11:06 a.m. because of dangerous conditions;
lightning. One large storm cell is supposed to blow through by early
afternoon but that will probably result in the event being shortened
to nine holes.

Thursday's forecast is for scattered thundershowers while Friday is
predicted to have isolated thunderstorms. Cromwell was the recipient
of some severe big storms over the last two weeks, including one drenching
that created a six-foot-deep pond in the 12th fairway. That portion of
the course is built on an old sand pit and drains extremely well.

One consistent with Degrandi from last year to this year is the
sleeping arrangements for some of his crew. As he has for a number of
tournaments in a row, first assistant superintendent Noel Hall will
be bunking in the irrigation room for the week. A camping trailer,
that largest one yet, will again be the temporary home for crew
members, approximately eight this time, who would rather stay over
than be forced to drive back and forth, sometimes twice a day.

Yesterday the River Highlands crew worked from 5 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Because of the nine-hole Golf Digest Junior Pro-Am that began at 5
p.m. interfered with the normal tournament week schedule, front side
mowing began at 1 p.m. Then the rest of the course was taken care of
from 5 p.m. until about 9 p.m. They were back at it again at 5 a.m.

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