CROMWELL, CT (WFSB) - The 2019 Travelers Championship kicks off this week.

Events are planned all this week ahead of the golf tournament's official start.

The opening ceremony happened Monday at 9 a.m. Gov. Ned Lamont participated as the honorary chair. 

The ceremony was followed by the Aetna Tournament Players Pro-Am.

More than 150 golfers will play in the PGA TOUR stop at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell this week.

Hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to watch them.

The player field was officially announced last week. It includes nine past champions. Fan favorites Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth will be there.

In addition to professional golf, fans can see live concerts and watch this year's celebrity charity mini-golf tournament.

In the days leading up to the start of official play, which is Thursday, organizers called the final preparations push a team effort.

"The players love it," said Nathan Grube, tournament director, Travelers Championship. "They love the crowds that come out here, when you get the community to come out and support, they love the energy and they feed off of it. Big crowds are what we're known for, so it’s going to be exciting."

One of the new items being featured at the tournament is a new multi-million clubhouse at the TPC River Highlands.

The recently-unveiled building includes a restaurant, an outdoor patio area, a large banquet area and locker facilities.

Lamont said he's looking forward to being part of an event that not only brings a significant economic benefit to the greater Hartford area, but also gives back to the community.

The Travelers Championship said it has donated more than $40 million to local charities.

More on the event can be found on its website here.

For complete coverage of the tournament, check out Channel 3's special website section here.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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