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Keegan Bradley won the 2023 Travelers Championship on Sunday evening. For Bradley, it was a huge victory. He said he dreamed as a kid of winning this particular tournament. Not the U.S. Open. Not the Masters. The Travelers Championship. Because of that, CBS reporter Amanda Renner referred to him winning his “hometown event.”
The Travelers Championship is held in Cromwell, Connecticut. Not Hartford, as the broadcast often refers. I live in central Connecticut and attended the event on Friday. It’s a great event, honestly. That’s because nothing really happens — on the professional sports level — in the state.
Keegan Bradley was born and raised in Vermont. At one point, his family moved to New Hampshire. Then to Massachusetts. He went to college at St. John’s in Queens, New York. Thus, he’s been all over New England. But one state in which he’s never lived is Connecticut.
His father, Mark Bradley, is a head golf professional. So, golf was a big part of the Bradley household. Because the Travelers — formerly the Greater Hartford Open — is the only PGA Tour event held in the area every year, Keegan Bradley attended almost yearly.
That’s why the tournament meant so much to him. You’d know that, of course, if you watched the CBS broadcast. Jim Nantz and company kept talking over and over about Bradley’s ties to the tournament. And, how he wanted to win the “New England event” as a “New Englander.”
In a way, I sort of get that. It’s not much different than if you grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas and win a title in Dallas. Sure, that’s your home state of Texas. But those cities are nearly 400 miles apart.
But a Corpus Christi-born player would not be a “hometown” champion in Dallas.
Of course, many people took issue with framing him as a “hometown” winner. Which, by the way, they are right to do. He’s not from Connecticut. He never lived in Connecticut.
Keegan Bradley grew up a full two states north of central Connecticut. Sure, the New England connection is fine. As mentioned, Woodstock, Vermont is closer to Cromwell, Connecticut (160 miles) than Corpus Christi is to Dallas. Or any number of cities in the same state.
But “hometown” is the wrong phrase. Not a huge deal, but expect Twitter to correct an obvious error.
But Renner wasn’t going to back down from her characterization.
Notice the subtle change in language. “Home event” is different than “Hometown event.”
Look, it’s not a huge deal. The truth of the matter is that it’s late June and there’s not much else going on in sports.
At the same time, though, words and language matter. Being factually accurate matters.
Renner was not being factually accurate, though she was hardly the only CBS personality to make similar claims.
Either way, Keegan Bradley is the 2023 Travelers Championship winner.
The Vermonter who won his hometown event in Connecticut.
What a story.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on X – formerly known as Twitter: @RealDanZak