WATCH: COURSE PREVIEW – TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Historically, the week after a major is the time for a let down with a weak field event on the PGA Tour. With 23 of the top 50 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings for this year active this week, we are still in store for some good golf at the Travelers Championship. The big three for this tournament is clearly Rory McIlroy ($11,600), Jason Day ($11,500) and Jordan Spieth ($11,400). Looking down the list though, there are plenty of golfers coming in with good recent form and course history looking to claim victory.
The Travelers Championship has been played at TPC River Highlands since 1984 which gives us a great sample to pull from when analyzing the course. The track this week is a short par 70 that plays just a shade over 6,800 yards. Compared to the length of Erin Hills, this course will be a breath of fresh air for those golfers who are playing back-to-back weeks. The general line of thinking for par 70s of this length is to target accuracy off the tee and greens in regulation. Good Drive Percentage is a statistic that includes fairways hit and greens in regulation after a missed fairway, which is a good proxy to target overall accuracy. If we’re going to go against the grain this week, we can target par 5 scorers and some of the longer hitters off the tee.
Going With The Grain
- Good Drive Percentage
- Par 4 and 5 Scoring
- Greens in Regulation
Jordan Spieth ($11,400) suffered a bit of a hiccup during THE PLAYERS Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson, missing both cuts, but has found form recently. He has finished no worse than 35th in his past three starts. Spieth’s ability to recover from his accuracy woes off the tee with his ball striking has kept him competitive. While he’s never played this course before, he seems to fit it well. Spieth is currently 20th in Good Drive Percentage and performs well in Par 4 and Par 5 Scoring for the distances that TPC River Highlands features.
Paul Casey ($9,700) is coming off of his best U.S. Open finish since 2007 and has played well all season. Casey is 12-of-13 with making the cut this year, including seven top-25 finishes. His play so far this year is good enough to land him within the top-60 in every major statistical category. To go with his stellar recent form, Casey has made starts here the last two years and has 17th and second place finishes to show for his work at TPC River Highlands.
|Good Drive Percentage||15|
|Greens in Regulation||5|
If you’re looking for an excellent blend of recent form and course history, Brendan Steele ($9,000) is a good option. In the past two years, Steele has been a model of consistency making 33-of-37 cuts since the start of 2016. At the Travelers Championship, Steele has had four straight top-25 finishes since 2013. He also has the best Par 4 Scoring on holes 400-450 yards in the field this week. That should equal low scores since there are eight such holes at TPC River Highlands. Steele is an excellent play in any DraftKings format.
Chez Reavie ($6,900) is also coming into the Travelers Championship in good form. He was 16th at the U.S. Open last week and fourth the previous week in Memphis. Reavie has played this event four times in the last five years and has two top-25 finishes in that timeframe. He has a pretty noticeable gap between salary and odds. He has the 63rd highest salary this week but the 29th best odds to finish in the top-20. If you combine that with excellent driving, a solid around the green game, and Par 4 Scoring, you land on excellent value at $6,900.
Honorable Mention: Justin Thomas ($10,200) and Graham DeLaet ($7,100)
Going Against The Grain
- Driving Distance
- Par 3 Scoring
Marc Leishman ($9,300) is a solid option for the course history crowd this week. His results at the Travelers Championship are listed below, but that’s not the only reason Leishman is in play this week. Leishman has played four of the last five weeks and hasn’t finished worse than 34th in that time frame. He’s 24th in Greens in Regulation for this week’s field and should be able to get around TPC River Highlands with some low scores this weekend.
Another week, another Tony Finau ($8,700) recommendation. Finau has been playing extremely well this year. He is making cuts at close to the highest rate of his career and is slowly creeping up the OWGR. Finau started the year in the high 80s and is nearly into the top-60. In his last eight starts, he has five top-30 finishes and possesses the skill set to take advantage of the course. Finau has two straight top-25 finishes in this event and is a great cash game option.
Kevin Tway ($8,200) has seen his popularity rise over the past couple of months. He has cooled off a bit since his string of three straight top-5 finishes, but he’s made 8-of-10 cuts. Finding mid-range salary golfers with that much cut equity is important when building lineups. Tway will score well on the long par 3s and both par 5s to complement his birdie upside on the par 4s thanks to his distance off the tee.
Hudson Swafford ($7,500) has made 2-of-3 cuts at this event and could use a course he’s comfortable with to get back into form. He comes in having missed his last four cuts. There’s room for optimism though, as he has seen improvements in proximity and driving accuracy as of late. Swafford is on the pricey side given his recent form, but he could be worth a look in DraftKings tournaments if the familiarity of TPC River Highlands helps him find his stride this week.
Honorable Mention: Seamus Power ($7,100) and Brandon Hagy ($6,600)
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