The PGA Tour travels from coast to coast, as it heads from sunny San Diego to Cromwell, Conn., for the annual stop in New England. Next year, the area will get the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. However, this week it is the Travelers Championship, as a stellar field will make a stop at one of the most popular tournaments on the PGA Tour’s circuit. With NBA winding down and NFL not yet here, PGA will take center stage for the next month or so. Let’s start taking a look at the Travelers Championship with a preview of the course, field and PGA DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel.
One of the most talked-about narratives the week after a major is the “hangover” effect. Felt on both sides of the coin, a ton of energy and emotion goes into major championships for both golfers and daily fantasy golf gamers. One thing that is always discussed is who is here to play and win, and who will be impacted the most from the previous week. Throughout the week in our content, we will dive into that.
If it is your first time joining us, here’s a brief synopsis of what you can find in this article most weeks.
- Tournament and Format
- Course Commentary
- Course Facts and Figures
- PGA DFS Course Summary and Statistical Comparison
- PGA DFS Preview, including sweat sheet
- Player Preview
Travelers Championship PGA DFS Preview & Picks
Hartford and the surrounding area have always been known as the insurance capital of the world. Prior to Travelers stepping up, it was known by quite a few different names, including the Insurance City Open Invitational. The event has been going on since the early 1950s and moved to TPC River Highlands back in 1991.
TPC River Highlands Course Preview
A complete 180 from last week, where bombers had quite the advantage, this week the golfers will wind through the dense Connecticut forest. TPC River Highlands boasts the typical Northeast golf game: Find the fairway to be at a big advantage. One of the shortest courses on the PGA Tour, some of the biggest hitters don’t mind, as new angles and lines have brought them back year after year. In addition, the course is one of the highest-rated tournaments by both fans and players.
Par and Yardage
- Par 70: 6,900 yards
Course Difficulty 2019
- 19/49: just over three-quarters of a stroke over par.
- Four Par 3’s: 223, 202, 158, 171
- 12 Par 4’s: 434, 341, 431, 481, 443, 406, 462, 511, 421, 296, 420, 444
- Two Par 5’s: 574, 523
- Peter Dye — At least the redesign in the early ’90s, along with Roger Maltbie and Howard Twitty.
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Facts and Figures
- Off the Tee: In terms of driving distance, it ranked 10th on the PGA Tour last year, with an average drive of 278 yards. However, these fairways were some of the easiest to hit on tour, with an average of almost 70% — ranking 42nd out of 49 courses last year. There will be a lot of 3-woods and irons off the tee, but there shouldn’t be any trouble in finding the fairway with them.
- Approach to the Green: These are some of the easiest fairways to hit, which should lead to some of the easiest greens to hit, and that’s kind of the case here, ranking 27th on the PGA Tour last year at just shy of 67.5%. One would think that number would be higher with 70% of the fairways being hit, but the green complexes are rather tricky here at TPC River Highlands.
- Around the Green: Continuing with the tricky greens, scrambling ranked 21st last year, converting 58% of the up-and-downs. It also boasts some of the toughest bunkers, ranking 15th in sand save percentage.
- On the Green: It is no surprise to see the greens as one of the top-15 hardest. The longer the putt, the harder it becomes, ranking second hardest on putts from 15 to 20 feet, seventh from 20 to 25 feet and ninth in over 25 feet.
PGA DFS Sweat Sheet for Travelers Championship
The two par 5’s add up to 25% of the total scoring for the week. That is about average for a par 70. Holes 2 and 15 are very scoreable. The 15th, for example, is a drivable par 4 that can be eagled, but miss a drive left and a water hazard lurks. Try to keep it away from the water and out of bounds lurks on the right. Try to lay up with an iron and bunkers guard the landing zone.
Also, a course that only measures 6,900 yards can’t really hide, so some of the shorter par 5’s should also yield a ton of birdies.
The Travelers Championship Player Preview
Roughly 60 golfers that played last week will make the trip across country. Five of the world’s top 10 are here and just about half of the world’s top 50. One of the other great things about the Travelers Championship is that it always affords the opportunity to some of the best collegiate players that have recently graduated.
Travelers Championship Notable Sponsor Invites
- John Pak: The second start of his young career, Pak had the most nightmarish of starts on the PGA Tour. After missing a couple of easy birdies looks in his first few holes, his next nine would be the worst nine holes he’s played since he was 10 years old, going 8 over. A decent Day 2 at least gave a glimmer of hope for what the future may bring.
- Davis Thompson: Also getting his second start, Davis was able to get back his form after a terrible debut. He played his first five holes at 5 over but rallied to make the cut and put up a respectable tie for 35th.
- Austin Eckorat: The newly minted pro, Eckorat won’t be competing in his first pro tournament this year, having competed in Mayakoba back in December. He came in 12th in that event. In his first start on the Korn Ferry Tour last week, he finished in seventh place, a nice jump start to his career.
Check out Jason Rouslin’s PGA DFS Value Picks for the Travelers Championship.
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