"Travelers Championship 2014" by Bröder Media Group is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Golf

The Travelers Championship

From Massachusetts to Connecticut: A Short Trip for the Travelers

 

Course Review (TPC River Highlands – Cromwell, CT)

The TPC at River Highlands was constructed in 1928 as “Middletown Golf Club” and re-designed by Pete Dye in 1982. It’s located just outside of Hartford and considered the outright best course in Connecticut. For a decent amount of guys on tour, this is one of their favorite events. TPC River Highlands features a good balance of terrain variations and hazards. The course is balanced, but the greens tend to be relatively easy.

 

US Open Review and Travelers Championship Preview

Remember how we remind you each week to not wager on all these picks? Last week was a prime example. We had two winners last week: Matt Fitzpatrick Top 10 (+300) and Will Zalatoris Top 30 (+330).

From here on out, we’re putting odds for Top 20 and better for every player. You can choose the ceiling payout for each, based on the information we provide to you. This kind of flexibility will allow you to determine how risky you want to be. We are finding the players who profile well for each event. It’s up to you to determine the rest.

The Travelers Championship is sort of a stock betting opportunity. By that, we mean you can generically choose your card without digging too deep into what types of players succeed at this course. Last year, Harris English defeated Kramer Hickock in a playoff. Based on the winners the past ten seasons, Travelers appear to favor good ball strikers, with a focus on Greens in Regulation. Getting the ball on the green in the fewest strokes is the easy strategy here.

 

Metrics to track this week

GIRP, Strokes Gained: Approach, and Strokes Gained: Around the Green are the important categories this week to focus-on. It should be noted, this tournament’s results in the past tend to really vary. Over the last ten seasons, we’ve had a mixed bag of winners here, so don’t rule-out the lesser-known players this week.

Again, don’t cover the board this week. Choose your plays based on the returns you’re looking-for.

  1. GIRP
  2. Strokes Gained: Approach
  3. Prior Success here
  4. Recent Form
  5. Strokes Gained: Around the Green

 

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

 

Off the Tee – Five Undervalued Players

 

Marc Leishman T-5 at +900 / T-10 at +450 / T-20 at +180

Marc Leishman was a player we leaned-on a lot last season. This season, the ceiling on Leishman simply hasn’t been there. Since the start of 2022, Leishman hasn’t finished higher than 10th in any event. Leishman has finished inside the Top 20 just once since February. The good news is, that was last week at the US Open. The 38 year old, #46 ranked player in the FedEx Cup won this event back in 2012 and finished 3rd here last season. Things are trending up for Marc.

Marc Leishman is 37th in Scoring Average, 34th in Birdie Average, 13th in Eagles (holes per), 42nd in GIRP, 49th in Driving Distance, 57th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 12th in Strokes Gained: Putting, and 34th in Strokes Gained: Total. Again, we have laid-out how Leishman’s peaks this year are far better than the valleys, but the peaks simply aren’t that high. Last week’s 14th place finish at the US Open is an encouraging testament to his current form, coming into his best event.

 

Webb Simpson T-5 at +1200 / T-10 at +600 / T-20 at +250

Webb Simpson has not had a great season. He’s 36 now and way down at #122 in the FedEx Cup standings. It’s safe to say he’s on the back nine of his career at this point. Simpson’s last victory was two years ago, and his best finish this season was 8th at the RSM Classic. It’s a reach to expect him to finish Top 5 this week. Prior to being cut last week, he finished 20th at the PGA Championship and 27th at Charles Schwab. Prior to last season, Webb was 8 for 8 on making the cut here (best finish was 5th in 2013).

Webb Simpson is 59th in Sand Save percentage, 47th in Scoring Average, 7th in Eagles (holes per), 36th in Driving Accuracy, 63rd in Strokes Gained: Approach, 35th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, 49th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 53rd in Strokes Gained: Total. Webb Simpson was 3rd in the FedEx Cup standings in 2020, 46th in 2021, and 122 in 2022. The decline for Webb Simpson has been steep, but if he has any hope to save his season, this is a good event for him, historically.

 

Mark Hubbard T-20 at +450 / T-40 at +200

Mark Hubbard is a decent PGA player, at times. His ceiling will likely never be very high, but this is one event he’s had success in the past. Hubbard has played this event four times, made every cut, and improved his finishing position every year. Last year, Hubbard fired a second round 65 and finished 13th. So far this season, Hubbard has been hanging around, teetering on the fringe of the PGA Tour. Hubbard has made his last three cuts, so we’re optimistic this week.

Mark Hubbard is 47th in Sand Save percentage, 48th in Scoring Average, 17th in Eagles (holes per), 71st in GIRP, 49th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 66th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, 67th in Strokes Gained: Putting, and 64th in Strokes Gained: Total. We aren’t suggesting you go aggressive on Hubbard this week, but he’s closer to a coin flip to Top 40 this week than the odds suggest.

 

Russell Knox T-20 at +600 / T-40 at +200

Russell Knox is Scotland’s best golfer at the moment. Unfortunately, that’s only good enough for 78th in the FedEx Cup standings. Knox is another choice this week based on both his elite GIRP and his prior success here. Knox also finished 15th at the Charles Schwab Challenge at the end of May. Russell Knox won this event back in 2016. He’s a consistent tour vet and proven winner here.

Knox is 63rd in Scoring Average, 3rd in GIRP, 18th in Driving Accuracy, 62nd in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, 32nd in Strokes Gained: Approach, and 42nd in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green. Knox profiles well in GIRP and a title here. Aside from that, there’s a lot of value here to Top 20 and even Top 40.

 

Beau Hossler T-10 +1200 / T-20 at +400 / T-40 at +140

Beau Hossler is 27 years old and teetering on the edge of the Top 50 in the FedEx Cup. He finished 3rd at AT&T Pebble Beach, 4th at the Valero Texas Open, and survived each of his last five cuts. Hossler was 148th in the FedEx Cup last season. Despite the poor season, he still managed to finish 10th at this event last season. He’s played this event five times and finished inside the Top 10 twice. Hossler carries a lot of value at the Top 40 and Top 20 finishing odds.

Beau Hossler is 63rd in Eagles (holes per), 28th in Driving Distance, 70th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, 4th in Strokes Gained: Putting, and 92nd in Strokes Gained: Total. Hossler’s only real strengths are his exceptional putting and his long driving. He’s sub-par with his irons, but his familiarity and comfort level at this course makes him a bit of a contrarian value this week.

 

 

On the Green – Five Popular Players to Finish High

 

Brian Harman To Win +3500 / T-5 +800 / T-10 +400 / T-20 +170

Brian Harman scored once for us this season and multiple times for us a season ago. He got off to a rough start this season, but has really turned it on since mid-December. Harman has finished inside the Top 35 in six of his last nine events, but the rub here is his play at this event. Brian Harman has three Top 10 finishes here over the last four seasons. He’s comfortable here, and his play of late has been adequate enough for a high finish to feel realistic.

Brian Harman is 12th in Sand Save percentage, 38th in Scoring Average, 57th in Eagles (holes per), 12th in Driving Accuracy, 66th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, 65th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, 46th in Strokes Gained: Putting, 72nd in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 51st in Strokes Gained: Total. Top 10 may be a stretch here, but the Top 20 is a relatively reasonable, safe choice.

 

Keegan Bradley To Win +2500 / T-5 +550 / T-10 +240 / T-20 +100

Keegan Bradley surprised many of us last week, finishing 7th at the US Open. KB is 36 years old now, but ranked 30th in the FedEx Cup. He’s logged Top 10 finishes now in four of his last six events. Prior to 2020, Keegan had made the cut here nine consecutive times, finishing 2nd here in 2019. With his current form and prior success at TPC River Highlands, he makes for a reasonable pick this week for a Top 20 or Top 10 finish. Given the history of winners here, he’s not out of the realm of reality to win here.

Keegan Bradley is 28th in Scoring Average, 31st in Birdie Average, 37th in Driving Distance, 22nd in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, 38th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 60th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, 84th in Strokes Gained: Putting, 24th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 24th in Strokes Gained: Total. Keegan aligns well with the metrics for success this week (Approach, Form, Previous Success here).

 

Seamus Power To Win +2500 / T-5 +550 / T-10 +240 / T-20 +100

Seamus Power made us look pretty silly last week. We mentioned him as the third-best Irish option last week and we opted for the one who crashed-out early. Seamus was hot to start the season, cooled-off, and has now seemingly turned it on again to jump into the 23 spot in the FedEx Cup standings. More recently, he finished 9th at the PGA Championship and 12th at the US Open. Seamus has made his last three cuts at this event, finishing 19th a season ago.

Seamus Power is 24th in Scoring Average, 19th in Birdie Average, 17th in Eagles (holes per), 9th in GIRP, 52nd in Driving Accuracy, 58th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, 32nd in Strokes Gained: Putting, and 46th in Strokes Gained: Total. I wouldn’t be too eager to take Seamus to win here, but a Top 5 or Top 10 would bring a decent return.

 

Sam Burns To Win +1600 / T-5 +350 / T-10 +175 / T-20 -125

Sam Burns looked like a great pick last week until the wheels came off in the final round. Burns was in 4th last week prior to tumbling out, but this week offers a more generous course and an opportunity to win his fourth event of the season. Despite his success this season, Sam Burns is still infrequently listed or mentioned as a potential event winner each week. He’s still 2nd in the FedEx Cup standings on the year, but it’s also to important to note he finished 13th here a season ago.

Sam Burns is 7th in Scoring Average, 4th in Birdie Average, 5th in GIRP, 24th in Driving Distance, 4th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 16th in Strokes Gained: Putting, 18th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 4th in Strokes Gained: Total. I love Burns to both Top 5 this week and to win, but the odds up to Top 20 are still pretty nice.

 

Scottie Scheffler To Win +800 / T-5 +225 / T-10 +100 / T-20 -200

Scottie Scheffler is the best player in Golf right now, still. Even so, we still haven’t hit on him to win an event. This week offers a shot at redemption following his collapse last Sunday (after having the lead). Scheffler has only played this event twice, but his 47th place finish last season came after a weekend collapse (3 over par on that weekend). You know, he’s going to be on a mission this week to atone for both last season’s collapse here and last week’s stumble at the finish line.

Scottie Scheffler is 4th in Scoring Average, 3rd in Birdie Average, 2nd in GIRP, 16th in Driving Distance, 13th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 25th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, 35th in Strokes Gained: Putting, 13th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 8th in Strokes Gained: Total. Fingers crossed we finally hit on Scheffler this week. Happy hunting!

 

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