There is a lot of information to digest when researching for golf. Course characteristics can tell us whether we want to favor long hitters, great putters or the best scramblers. Weather is crucial as strong wind early on Thursday would mean we want players teeing off later in the day. Figuring out exactly how good a golfer is relative to his DraftKings salary and the field sounds simple but is crucial.
The two topics I’ll be focusing on in this weekly article are course history and recent form. Like every other stat in every DFS sport, these two topics are a piece of the puzzle rather than the whole pie. But knowing who historically plays well at a certain course and who comes into the event in good form correlate significantly with DFS success as long as we have a solid sample size.
- This tournament has been played at TPC River Highlands outside of Hartford since 1991. There were renovations after last year’s tournament, mainly with regards to the removal of bunkers. I do not expect the course to play much differently – you can read more about the changes here.
Travelers Championship Course History: The Good
1. Bubba Watson, $12,300
It’s difficult to overstate how dominant Bubba has been at TPC River Highlands. His finishes here the last seven years are 1, 31, 4, 2, 38, 1, 14. Unfortunately for us, Watson’s absurd Course History is priced in as he’s the most expensive player on the slate by a wide margin. The good news is he shouldn’t be too highly owned as he has just one top-20 finish since early-March.
2. Ryan Moore, $7,800
Moore has carded a top-10 in four of his seven appearances at the Travelers Championship (57.1 percent). He’s carded 50 top-10s in his other 267 PGA tournaments combined (18.7 percent). Moore’s impressive history at TPC Highlands includes a fifth in 2014, seventh in 2013, second in 2011, 13th in 2010 and 4th in 2009. As for this season, Moore has made four straight tough cuts (Memorial, U.S. Open, British Open, PGA Championship).
3. Chris Stroud, $6,300
Stroud’s Course Adjusted Round score of 69.3 is best among players who have played this event multiple times and are under $6,500. He has four top-20s in his last five trips to TPC Highlands, including a 10th last year and a 2nd in 2013. Stroud has also eclipsed his salary-based expectation in each of his last three main Tour events (Canadian Open, Quick Loans National, Dean & DeLuca).
4. Fredrik Jacobson, $6,800
Jacobson has made the cut in each of his last four trips here and won in 2011. It remains his only PGA Tour win out of the 294 he has played. The 41-year-old Swede has also flashed some upside this season with three top-10s and six top-25s in 22 events played.
Travelers Championship Course History: The Bad
1. Daniel Summerhays, $7,600
Summerhays is making a name for himself with an eighth-place finish at this year’s U.S. Open and a third-place at the PGA Championship. He’s also made 18-of-22 cuts on the year. But the TPC River Highlands has been a house of horrors for Summerhays, as he has missed the cut in three of his four appearances and finished 74th in the other.
2. Russell Knox, $8,600
Knox shot an opening round 3-over 73 at this event last year and then withdrew due to illness. His other three appearances (2012 through 2014) went MC, 13th, 61st. That’s led to a Course Adjusted Round Score of 71.8, a scary number for a player at his price point.
3. Colt Knost, $7,100
Knost got hot in the middle of the season and saw his salary surge all the way to $9,700 at St. Jude. He’s since missed the cut at the British and Candadian, and finished T70 at last week’s PGA Championship. Now Knost has to play a course he’s really struggled on with zero finishes better than 39th in his five appearances.
COMING IN HOT: RECENT FORM
1. Tyrrell Hatton, $7,700
Hatton is a 24-year-old Englishman who made his way through the European Q school and burst onto the scene this season. He’s the hottest player in this field relative to his price, as his last three events were the PGA Championship (10th), the British Open (5th) and the Scottish Open (2nd).
2. Brooks Koepka, $11,200
Koepka has reeled off four straight impressive finishes against some tough fields. He finished 4th at last week’s PGA, 13th at the U.S. Open and 2nd at the Byron Nelson. Now he gets a course that should fit him well as it favors long hitters. Koepka’s long-term Adjusted Driving Distance of 305.3 is 10th-best in the field this week.
3. Francesco Molinari, $8,900
Molinari continues to smash value nearly every week as he’s made the cut in 11 of his last 12 starts. He’s really turned it on lately with an 8th at Quicken Loans, a 2nd at the Open de France and a 22nd at the PGA Championship. Molinari played this event last year and finished 25th on the back of a 67-66 start.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is AdamLevitan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.