Alabama Travelers Seek Championship

Three of the four PGA Tour veteran golfers with University of Alabama ties competing in the 2013 Travelers Championship have earned a top ten career finish at the event held at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, (Conn.). The Crimson Tide quartet of Dicky Pride, Jason Bohn, Michael Thompson and Bud Cauley has combined for 24 professional appearances at the par 70, 6,841 yard course.

Pride, a 12-time participant, tied for third on the leaderboard in 1996. Thompson's second attempt of the three earned a fourth place in 2011. A sixth place tie in 2004 was the best Bohn achieved through seven years. Twice Cauley entered the Nutmeg state tournament and tied for 24th in 2011. A fifth member with an allegiance to the Crimson and White makes his Travelers Championship debut beginning with the first round slated for Thursday.

Alabama sophomore Justin Thomas, fresh off helping the Tide to the 2013 NCAA Men's Golf Championship, has joined the player field courtesy of a sponsor's exemption. One of the five travelers with deep roots planted at the Tuscaloosa campus can become the first to capture the winner's share and claim a championship of the tournament established in 1952.

Wednesday was the Celebrity Pro-Am. 'BAMA Magazine/ spoke with 1984 Heisman Trophy recipient, Doug Flutie. Many view the current Texas A&M signal caller and recent Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel, as a supersonic-sized version of the former Boston College quarterback. The fleet footed dual threat Aggie produced prolific numbers throwing and running the football as a redshirted freshman last season. Flutie offered sage advice for mystified defensive coordinators searching for answers to curtail a repeat assault on the record books. "I think you have to put pressure on him and get the ball out of his hands without letting him get out of the pocket and run it," stated the current NBC Sports Network college football analyst. "My philosophy is he is so athletic that when you go four-man rush he is going to hold the ball as long as he wants. The problem is he is good at reading and delivering the ball on time too but I would rather take that than have him run around all day with the ball in his hands."

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron has flourished as the starter according to Flutie. "He is very consistent. Last year he really stepped it up and took it to a whole another level. He's legit," said the physically fit and trim half-century year old former CFL and NFL quarterback. "Two years ago I was thinking originally that he was just a managing-the-game-type of guy. Now he is at a point where you put the ball in his hands and let him go." A Heisman Trophy is within the realm of possibility for the Tide senior. "Playing at Alabama and being on a national championship contending team is very important. It can get you the opportunity," Flutie stated. "His problem is that they have such a good running game he doesn't throw up flashy numbers and that ends up playing into it. He has that caliber and will probably be in the mix."

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