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Golf

Travelers Championship Preview

Little fact you may not know, this is also the second most attended PGA Tour event behind the Waste Management Open in Scottsdale, AZ

A week after Gary Woodland won his first major in California, the tour moves all the way back to the east coast in Cromwell, CT to tee it up at TPC River Highlands for the Travelers Championship. Little fact you may not know, this is also the second most attended PGA Tour event behind the Waste Management Open in Scottsdale, AZ.

Purse: $7,200,000

Winner: $1,296,000

Weather

TV Schedule

  • Thursday June 20th: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM CST on Golf Channel
  • Friday June 21st: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM CST on Golf Channel
  • Saturday June 22nd: 12:00 PM – 1:45 PM CST on Golf Channel
  • Saturday June 22nd: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM CST on CBS
  • Sunday June 23rd: 12:00 PM – 1:45 PM CST on Golf Channel
  • Sunday June 23rd: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM CST on CBS

Whose Teeing Off & Groupings

Even though this tournament is a week after a major, you still get a lot of big names to tee it up here. Notably, Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, and new major winner Gary Woodland won’t be here. You still have the likes of Brooks Koepka, Spieth, Molinari, Paul Casey, Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood, Phil Mickelson, and Dechambeau among others – so the star power is still here. Here are some of the notable groupings for the first two round and their tee times.

1st Tee Thursday/10th Tee Friday (times in CST)
  • 11:40 AM/6:25 AM: Kevin Kisner, J.B. Holmes, Keegan Bradley
  • 11:50 AM/6:35 AM: Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau, Jason Day
  • 12:00 PM/ 6:45 AM: Phil Mickelson, Marc Leishman, Jordan Spieth
10th Tee Thursday/1st Tee Friday (times in CST)
  • 6:35 AM/11:50 AM: Patrick Cantlay, Francesco Molinari, Justin Thomas
  • 6:45 AM/12:00 PM: Brooks Koepka, Bubba Watson, Tony Finau
  • 11:30 AM/6:15 AM: Cameron Smith, Russell Knox, Tommy Fleetwood
  • 12:10 PM/6:55 AM: Kevin Streelman, Louis Oosthuizen, Bud Cauley

Recent History

Bubba Watson holding up the Travelers Championship trophy last year, this was his third win here since 2010.

This is a tournament where not many guys have great consistency outside of a handful of guys like Paul Casey, Charley Hoffman, and Marc Leishman as of late. As you can see in the picture above, Bubba Watson won here last year and has won this tournament a total of three times since 2010, but he also has a missed cut here in 2017, and finishes of T25 (2016), and T31 (2014). Many guys have records here like that where they finish top 15 or top 10 one year but miss the cut or are way behind the next. Here’s a list of winners and runner-ups then we’ll go through the bigger names and their finishes since 2014.

  • 2018: Bubba Watson (-17)
    • Runner Up: Stewart Cink, Beau Hossler, JB Holmes (-14)
  • 2017: Jordan Spieth (-12) (Won in Playoff)
    • Runner Up: Daniel Berger (-12) (Playoff)
  • 2016: Russell Knox (-14)
    • Runner Up: Jerry Kelly (-13)
  • 2015: Bubba Watson (-16) (Won in Playoff)
    • Runner Up: Paul Casey (-14) (Playoff)
  • 2014: Kevin Streelman (-15)
    • Runner Up: KJ Choi, Sergio Garcia (-14)
  • As I stated right off the bat, Paul Casey has been great here since 2015 finishing T2 that year, then T17, T5, and T2 last year.
  • Brooks Koepka has played here in 2014 finishing T51, T9 in 2016, and T19 last year.
  • Patrick Cantlay missed the cut in 2014 and finished T15 last year. In between those year he didn’t play.
  • Spieth had his bunker shot win in a playoff in 2017 and finished T42 last year.
  • Molinari hasn’t played here since 2016 where he finished T47, and T25 in 2015.
  • Jason Day went T12 last year, and missed the cut in 2017. Finished T18 in 2014.
  • Justin Thomas since 2015 has gone missed cut, T3, missed cut, and T56 last year.
  • Marc Leishman has been solid here even though he missed the cut last year. He’s gone T17 (2017), T9 (2016), T29 (2015), T11 (2014). Leishman also won here in 2012.
  • Bryson Dechambeau finished T9 last year, and the previous two went T26 and T47.
  • Phil Mickelson has won this tournament twice but hasn’t played here in the past 10 years.
  • Tommy Fleetwood will be playing here this year but he has zero experience at this course.
  • Louis Oosthuizen will also be coming back for the first time since 2016 where he finished T17, the year prior he missed the cut.
  • Tony Finau is back after a one year hiatus, he finished T17 in 2016, and T25 the two years previous.
  • Patrick Reed has three missed cuts here since 2014 but finished T5 in 2017, and T11 in 2016.
  • Charley Hoffman the past three years as gone T15 (2018), T3 (2017), T25 (2016). He didn’t play here in 2015 and finished T26 in 2014.

The Course

TPC River Highlands was designed by Robert Ross in 1928 and re-designed by Pete Dye in 1982, and Bobby Weed in 1989. It is a short course with only two Par 5’s, it sits at a 6,841 yards and a Par 70. The course is short but does have water in play on at least four holes, the fairways are tree-lined, and there are plenty of bunkers to go around. What can make this course difficult, much like Pebble Beach last week, is if the wind picks up. There have been some buys that really dominate this course though in great weather, Jim Furyk shot a 58 here in 2016 and Patrick Cantlay also put up a 60 on this course. With this course being so short, you really want to look at guys who can drive the ball far to take advantage and guys who are towards the top of the tour in greens in regulation. Let’s take a look at the scorecard and then some featured holes!

Hole #13: 523 Yard Par 5

The green at hole #13 via PGAtour.com

The only Par 5 on the back nine comes on the third hold and is reachable in to shots. First, players need an accurate tee shot to miss the water on right, and the out of bounds on the left. From there players will have a shot to hit the green in two but must also avoid the water that is short and on the left side of the green.

Hole #15: 296 Yard Par 4

The green on #15 via PGAtour.com

Very short Par 4 that many players are going to go for off the tee, with a hybrid or some sort of wood. Some guys might not even have to pull out drive to hit this green. Players will have to avoid the water on the left. Therefore i’d expect to see a good number of tee shots into one of the two bunkers on the right side of the green.

Hole #17: 420 Yard Par 4

View from the #17 green via PGAtour.com

17 might be the most well known hole at the Travelers because of the dog leg aspect that goes around the pond. Off the tee guys will obviously have to miss the pond to the right but then the second shot will also be a shot over the pond. If the wind is up, this hole becomes much more difficult. Expect a few pin placements towards the front of the green that will bring the water much more into play. This hole can make or break a round pretty easily.

Picks

One & Done Pick: We’re gonna go with Bryson Dechambeau this week. He was hot at the start of the year and cooled off since but showed some life last week and played much better. Bryson hasn’t missed a cut here in three weeks and finished T9 last year. He’s got the driving distance to take advantage of this short course, and if his ball striking and putting improves on last week I think he’s got a great shot.

Betting Winner: Bryson Dechambeau (+3000), Kevin Streelman (+6000), Jason Kokrak (+6600), Cameron Smith (+12500), Kevin Kisner (+7500)

Top 10 Odds: Justin Thomas (+185), Louis Oosthuizen (+300), Chez Reavie (+500), Russell Henley (+750), Cameron Champ (+1600), Brendan Steele (+1800)

Daily Fantasy Lineup:
  • Keegan Bradley
  • Bryson Dechambeau
  • Tony Finau
  • Jason Kokrak
  • Louis Oosthuizen
  • Cameron Champ
One & Done History:
  1. Waste Management Open: Matt Kuchar – $293,467 (T4)
  2. Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Shane Lowry – $0 (Missed Cut)
  3. Genesis Open: Hideki Matsuyama – $177,600 (T9)
  4. WGC-Mexico: Jon Rahm –$65,000 (T45)
  5. The Honda Classic: Sergio Garcia – $183,700 (T9)
  6. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rickie Fowler – $35,000 (T40)
  7. The Players: Jason Day –$350,000 (T8)
  8. The Valspar Championship: Webb Simpson – $0 (Missed Cut)
  9. WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Brooks Koepka – $53,000 (T53)
  10. Valero Texas Open: Bud Cauley – $0 (Missed Cut)
  11. The Masters: Paul Casey – $0 (Missed Cut)
  12. RBC Heritage: Xander Schauffele – $15,559
  13. Zurich Classic: Patrick Reed –$0 (Missed Cut)
  14. Wells Fargo Championship: Tony Finau – $17,064 (T60)
  15. AT&T Byron Nelson: Keith Mitchell – $17,301
  16. The PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy – $264,395 (T8)
  17. Charles Schwab Challenge: Kevin Kisner – $0 (Missed Cut)
  18. The Memorial Tournament: Patrick Cantlay: $1,638,000 (WINNER)
  19. RBC Canadian Open: Henrik Stenson – $220,400 (T8)
  20. U.S. Open: Dustin Johnson –$57,853 (T35)
  21. Travelers Championship: Bryson Dechambeau –
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