Previously known as the Greater Hartford Open, The Travelers Championship has a long history and since 1991 has been played at TPC River Highlands. The tournament is the second best attended event on the PGA tour, and lists Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper and Phil Mickelson as previous winners.
The Travelers Championship – The Field
The week after a Major championship is always a strange one and often features weaker fields than an average week on the PGA tour, however this event bucks the trend somewhat. Masters Champion Bubba Watson heads the field and Matt Kuchar, Jason Day and Sergio Garcia all head to Connecticut as players in the world’s top ten. Surprise US Open runner up Erik Compton also plays this week looking to build on last week’s heroics.
The Travelers Championship – The Course
TPC River Highlands is a par 70 course played over 6841 yards. The course record is 60 set by US player Patrick Cantlay in 2011. It is certain that a score of nine under par will not win this event by eight shots like it did at Pinehurst No 2 last week, a double figures under par score will be needed to win.
The Travelers Championship – Past Tournaments
Last year Ken Duke beat Chris Stroud in a play-off, with Graham Delaet just a shot back. Bubba Watson was one further back. 2012 saw Marc Leishman claim the title with a storming 62 on Sunday to win the title by one shot from Bubba Watson and Charley Hoffman. Bubba Watson did indeed win the event in 2010, Fredrik Jacobson and Kenny Perry also winning the event in recent years.
Picks and Sleepers – Ideas Based On What the Stats Tell Us
The stats of the high finishers in the last couple of years show that a variety of players can do well here. It certainly is a course that can reward a long driver, as Bubba Watson’s great record here shows, however last year’s winner Ken Duke was 170th in driving distance – so this week I’d veer towards players who can score lots of birdies however they achieve it. Especially at DraftKings where their golf scoring weighs heavier on scoring birdies than consistent pars.
The Travelers Championship – Eight Players to Pick & Sleepers
Bubba Watson – When picking a high salary player, you need that player to perform, but there is little risk of failure from Bubba here. Fourth and tied 2nd in the last two years, and a win in 2010, he loves it here. Watson is 3rd on the birdie or better stat this year.
Dustin Johnson – Johnson is having a bit of a mixed year, with 2 runners up spots in the early part of the year and four top ten’s, however a player of his quality might expect a little more. A 4th place last week at Pinehurst will have done his confidence a world of good. Johnson is 5th on the birdie or better stat.
Charley Hoffman – Hoffman has a great record at the Travelers with top ten finishes in the last two events. Hoffman makes the cut every week (just one missed cut in 22 events) and is 8th on the birdie or better percentage – be very surprising if this isn’t a good, solid point scoring pick.
Ryan Moore – Moore is a player who is either hot or cold. He is capable of winning and missing a cut, so is a player who is a bit of a gamble. Finished in the top ten here last year and 24th in the birdie or better stat this year. Been solid if not spectacular recently – playing a course he did well at last year may well give him a boost.
Paul Casey – Casey is a player who has struggled with both form and injuries in recent times, however there are signs that it is all coming together again. Seven top 20 finishes in fourteen outings this year is a very solid, however he can’t quite grab that big finish. His world ranking is moving in the right direction however, from a lowly 169th a year ago he is back up to 83rd, and a big week will happen soon – maybe this week.
Robert Streb – Streb will be a good low to mid salary pick this week. With just one missed cut this year, it will be disappointing if he doesn’t make the weekend and has shown with a 2nd place this year that he can mix it at the weekend. He is 44th in the birdies or better stat.
JJ Henry – Henry is a previous winner here in 2006 and finished tied 5th last year. Had a terrible time in the early part of the year, at one point having seven missed cuts and a DQ in a run of nine events. However, four consecutive cuts finishing with a top 20 in his last outing sees a player finally finding some form – and will welcome a return to Connecticut.
Retief Goosen – A player whose best years are behind him, however there are signs this year that he is returning to some of the form that made him such a good player in the early part of the last decade. Two top ten’s this year and seven straight cuts made make him a solid pick for a smaller salary.
The Travelers Championship – The Betting
The sportsbooks are always a good guide when it comes to picking players in fantasy golf and the early lines make some interesting reading. Bubba Watson rightly has early favoritism with Matt Kuchar just behind. Other players who feature in the top ten are Jason Day, Sergio Garcia, Zach and Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley, Patrick Reed, Graham DeLaet and Brandt Snedeker.