Women's Day coincides with first round of golf tournament - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Travelers Championship

Women's Day coincides with first round of golf tournament

Posted: Updated:
Organizers said they are set for Round 1 of the Travelers Championship. (WFSB photo) Organizers said they are set for Round 1 of the Travelers Championship. (WFSB photo)

While professionals were playing in the first round of the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, 500 ladies took part in women's day.

Events for women include a 12:30 p.m. clinic at the practice facility and watching some championship-level golf out on the course at the TPC River Highlands.

It all kicked off with the 8th annual women's day breakfast in the morning.  

Women's day began at the Travelers championship years ago, when officials took a look around and realized about 75 percent of the fans were men. So they set out to change that. 

"Smiling faces, I was walking through thinking you wouldn't see this at a men's event, eye contact, smiling faces," Michaela Donnelly, of Suffield, said. "It's really nice to feel the energy."

The event was started to give all women a way to network and get involved at the Travelers Championship, even if they don't play golf, according to organizers.

"If you play golf, you know it's a great way to build relationships and do business on the golf course," Jennifer Wislocki with Travelers said. "And even if you just come to the travelers championship, it's the same thing, so we really want women to experience that and realize it's a great way to meet people and build those relationships."

This year, it featured journalist Cynthia McFadden and celebrity chef Ming Tsai.

"I just want people to be fulfilled, entertained, and leave with something like, huh, I never thought of that," Tsai said. 

Tsai's charity, Family Reach, helps families of children battling cancer. This week the Travelers Championship is also benefiting the Hospital of Special Care, and ALS research. 

"It's a great platform for me to be able to talk to all these women that are here, that want to give back," Tsai said. 

Of course, Tsai said he also wants to spread a little cooking knowledge. 

"The best way, if you're going to rush this, ice and club soda, because bubbles help chill it faster," Tsai said. 

Many women at the event told Eyewitness News that its the reason they come back year after year. They called it inspiring.

More on women's day can be found on the Travelers Championship website here.

Women also received preferred seating in the bleachers on Thursday.

To see photos on your mobile device, click here. 

The first group teed off at 7 a.m. More than 150 golfers are vying for this year's $6.6 million prize.

Jon Rahm is only 21 years old and fresh out of college after graduating from Arizona State in May.

Rahm was from Spain and only been in the United States for his four years of college. Of course he's only played in a handful of tournaments, but he's come in the top five twice already. At 5 under par Rahm was one of the leaders at the Travelers Championship. 

Eyewitness News will have have highlights of the Travelers Championship during our 6 p.m. newscast and as part of special called Inside the Travelers at 7 p.m.

Besides highlights, people watching  Inside the Travelers will be entertained by comedian Kevin Nealon. The 9-year veteran of Saturday Night as well as movies and other television shows such as Weeds grew up in Bridgeport. Nealon has a new show this fall on channel 3.

"It's Called Man with a plan it stars Matt LeBlanc. I play his brother," Nealon said. "We are in business together. We play Contractors. And it premiers Oct. 24."  

For all fans, a concert is also scheduled for Thursday night.

Big & Rich, known for their hit song "Save a Horse [Ride a Cowboy]," will be performing at the Fan Zone around 7 p.m.

Travelers officials said fans have been asking them for some country music.

For more on the Powerstation Events Concert Series at the Travelers Championship, click here.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.