Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Travelers Championship
After the U.S. Open -- and with how exciting the major actually turned out to be -- it would have been totally understandable to be offered up a watered down PGA event the following week at the Travelers Championship.
While the event won't mean quite as much and the purse is cut nearly in half compared to last week's major tournament, we still get a good number of the world's top-tier golfers in action at TPC River Highlands for this week.
Let's break down the course, the key stats on which to focus, and players who have excelled here in the past.
Course and Tournament Overview
TPC River Highlands, a short (6,841-yard) par 70, has played under par in 8 of the past 10 seasons.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Avg O/U Par|
And the style of player who dominates at this course really does vary (which we'll get to in a bit regarding the stats). The course is littered with bunkers (about 120 of them), but clearly, they haven't led to scoring issues.
After the unique U.S. Open cut, we are back to a large field (more than 150 golfers) and a top-70-plus-ties-after-36-holes cut this week.
Recent Tournament History
Russell Knox (-14) fended off Jerry Kelly's (-13) final-round 64 to win last year. Patrick Rodgers and Justin Thomas (-12) tied for third. Four players tied for fifth at -11: Daniel Berger, Jim Furyk, Robert Garrigus, and Tyrone Van Aswegen.
In 2015, Bubba Watson defeated Paul Casey in a playoff; each ended the first 72 holes at -16. Brian Harman (-15), Graham DeLaet (-14), Carl Pettersson (-14), and Zach Johnson (-12) rounded out the top six.
Kevin Streelman, Ken Duke, and Marc Leishman won the three prior iterations.
Certain stats, such as strokes gained: tee to green, birdie or better percentage, and strokes gained: putting will always be worth monitoring, but these are some of the most important stats to look for when rostering golfers at TPC River Highlands.
|Key Stats for the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands|
|Birdie or Better Percentage|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Par 4 Scoring|
|Greens in Regulation|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
The scoring-friendly par 70 puts an emphasis on being able to break par. Birdies are the essence of scoring fantasy points on FanDuel every week, and that's especially the case for TPC River Highlands.
Strokes gained: approach has correlated well with scoring at this course in the past five years, as has par 4 scoring.
Driving distance can be downplayed this week, but getting to the green in regulation and gaining strokes off the tee are still vital. You can opt for good drive percentage to tie tee shots to greens in regulation. Just be careful not to weight too many of these related stats all at once in your research.
Players who are long off the tee can club down and play aggressively, and players who struggle to generate distance off the tee can make up strokes through strong approach play. There is no one-size-fits-all type of player this week.
Course History Studs
Bubba Watson won this event in 2015 and in 2010 and has made nine straight cuts at TPC River Highlands. Just 2 of his past 36 rounds here have been over par. In his nine made cuts, he has finished top 25 seven times and top 10 five times. He also finished T2 in 2012.
Marc Leishman has made the cut all six times at this course, beginning with a T70 in 2009. He returned in 2012 to win. Since then, he's played the course every year: T30, T11, T39, and T9.
Charley Hoffman is a bit similar in that he was cut in 2007 but made six cuts since 2010 (he didn't play here in 2015). Hoffman finished T27 in 2010 and T43 in 2011 before improving to T2, T7, T26, and T25 in his four most recent tries.
Chris Stroud has strong form at this course, as well. Excluding a 2007 withdrawal, he's made all nine cuts since 2008 and produced four top 25s in that span. He was solo second in 2013 and T10 in 2015.
Graham DeLaet has some upside in his course history but didn't play here in 2016. From 2010 to 2015, he finished T68, cut, 68, 3, T51, and 4. He's got an interesting stat profile for this course, and a top-five finish at his salary would be more than welcome.
Brendan Steele missed the cut at TPC River Highlands in 2012 but bookended that with T13s in 2011 and 2013. He was T5 in 2014, T25 in 2015, and T17 last year. That gives him five top 25s in his five made cuts.
Stuart Appleby has some promising form at this course. He was T47 last season but T18, T9, and T18 from 2012 to 2014.
Harris English has played the weekend four times in four tries here and improved upon a T64 in 2012 and a T43 in 2013 with a T7 and a T25 in 2014 and 2015. He didn't play here last year.