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BlogTravelers Preview and Picks

Travelers Championship

June 25th – 28th, 2015

TPC at River Highlands

Cromwell,, Conn.

Par: 70 / Yardage: 6,841

Purse: $6.4 million

with $1,152,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Kevin Streelman

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 14 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with two players from the top-ten #5 Bubba Watson and #9 Sergio Garcia. The other top 50 players are #15 Patrick Reed,  #16 Louis Oosthuizen, #19 Billy Horschel, #23 Kevin Na, #25 Brandt Snedeker, #27 Branden Grace, #28 Zach Johnson, #31 Gary Woodland, #35 Paul Casey, #38 Hunter Mahan, #40 Keegan Bradley and #44 Francesco Molinari.

Last year there were 16 of the top-50.

The field includes 7 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2015.  Those players are #5 Patrick Reed, #8 Brandt Snedeker, #12 Bubba Watson, #18 Steven Bowditch, #23 Sangmoon Bae, #24 Gary Woodland and #25 Kevin Na.

The field includes 7 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list. those players are #6 Brandt Snedeker, #10 Bubba Watson, #11 Patrick Reed, #20 Gary Woodland #22 Steven Bowditch, #24 Sergio Garcia, and #25 Kevin Na.

The field includes seven past champions: Kevin Streelman (2014), Ken Duke (2013), Marc Leishman (2012), Bubba Watson (2010), Stewart Cink (2008 & 1997), Hunter Mahan (2007) and J.J. Henry (2006).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Traveler’s field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Traveler’s field in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Traveler’s field.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker North America, Bovada.  They give winning odds plus top-five and first round leader odds.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

**NOTE**

One thing to look for is our new GOLFstats IQ.  For those that play in fantasy golf it’s a perfect way to help you pick those players in Draft Kings and Victiv games.  You can customize the list of those in the tournaments, to look back a couple or many years of tournament stats and you can go back a couple or ten weeks prior to the tournament.  On top of that, all the stats are fully sortable to help you pick your six players, we even give you their value for the week to help you chose.

That’s GOLFstats IQ, give it a try and tell us what you think of it

24/7 GOLF

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We have the perfect solution for you.  If you own a Iphone or a Ipad we have developed a perfect app called 24/7 GOLF.

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So check it out, just hit this link to get 24/7 GOLF:

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 12.01.34 AM

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Travelers Championship

Player U.S. Open FedEx St. Jude Lyoness Open Memorial Tournament Nordea Masters Byron Nelson Irish Open Colonial BMW PGA Wells Fargo Open de Espana The Players Cadillac Match Play
Francesco Molinari
(280.67 pts)
T27
(46)
DNP DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP 5
(70)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T34
(8)
Branden Grace
(225.5 pts)
T4
(160)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP T42
(4)
T9
(22.5)
Louis Oosthuizen
(225 pts)
T2
(200)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T69
(0)
T5
(35)
Brandt Snedeker
(201.67 pts)
8
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
T52
(0)
Tony Finau
(192 pts)
T14
(72)
DNP DNP T8
(50)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Billy Horschel
(174 pts)
T25
(50)
T8
(50)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(18.5)
T17
(16.5)
Cameron Smith
(152.67 pts)
T4
(160)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T46
(2.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Patrick Reed
(136.83 pts)
T14
(72)
DNP DNP T26
(24)
DNP DNP DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T24
(13)
T17
(16.5)
Sergio Garcia
(134 pts)
T18
(64)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T22
(18.67)
T2
(50)
T34
(8)
David Lingmerth
(130 pts)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Matt Jones
(117.67 pts)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP T40
(10)
DNP T64
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T28
(14.67)
DNP CUT
(-5)
T34
(8)
Russell Knox
(115.83 pts)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T17
(16.5)
DNP
Jason Bohn
(112.67 pts)
DNP T29
(21)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T9
(30)
DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Kevin Na
(109.67 pts)
T46
(8)
DNP DNP T13
(37)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(30)
T34
(8)
Keegan Bradley
(109.67 pts)
T27
(46)
DNP DNP T8
(50)
DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
T52
(0)
Steven Bowditch
(109.67 pts)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP DQ
(-3.33)
DNP T47
(2)
DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Zach Johnson
(102.33 pts)
T72
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 5
(46.67)
DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(18.5)
T17
(16.5)
Greg Owen
(96 pts)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP T46
(2.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Michael Thompson
(95.67 pts)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP T46
(2.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T28
(14.67)
DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Marc Leishman
(94.17 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T27
(15.33)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(13)
T9
(22.5)
Patrick Rodgers
(91 pts)
DNP T29
(21)
DNP T40
(10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T74
(0)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Scott Brown
(84.67 pts)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP T30
(10)
DNP
Colt Knost
(81.33 pts)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP T66
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Seung-Yul Noh
(75 pts)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Gary Woodland
(68.33 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T60
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP CUT
(-5)
2
(50)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Travelers Championship

Player U.S. Open FedEx St. Jude Lyoness Open Memorial Tournament Nordea Masters Byron Nelson Irish Open Colonial BMW PGA Wells Fargo Open de Espana The Players Cadillac Match Play
Michael Putnam
(-41.67 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T73
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Blayne Barber
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Andrew Svoboda
(-35 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
J.J. Henry
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Mike Weir
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Johnson Wagner
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Brice Garnett
(-28.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Jason Kokrak
(-28.33 pts)
DNP T64
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Andrew Putnam
(-23.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T68
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
D.A. Points
(-23.33 pts)
T58
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

It looks like the U.S. Open was very successful, of course there was a lot of opinions on Chambers Bay.  Lot’s of players didn’t like this and that, but on the whole the course was ok.  One thing about players on the PGA Tour, they aren’t one for change or something that is different and of course Chambers Bay is totally different.

Spieth’s win makes things very interesting for the British Open.  There is a lot more attention on it which will be nice to see.

Tournament information:

  • This is the 64th annual Travelers Championship. The tournament was founded by the United States Junior Chambers in 1952 after an attempt to raise money from a turtle race the previous year failed. The Cromwell, Connecticut-based tournament was originally known as the Insurance City Open. The chief goal of the tournament since its inception has been to raise funds for the USJC’s philanthropic endeavors. In the inaugural tournament, war-hero Ted Kroll captured the crown, the second of his career. Four years later, the Insurance City Open served as a launching pad for Arnold Palmer as he notched his second win on the PGA Tour and the first on American soil in the 1956 Insurance City Open.
  • The Insurance City Open underwent a name change in 1967 when it became the Greater Hartford Open. The tournament’s original goal was given a boost when, in 1971, defending champion Bob Murphy donated $20,000 of his 1970 winnings to start the Greater Hartford Chapter of the “Jaycees.” The year 1973 was momentous for the Greater Hartford Open. In an effort to further boost tournament notoriety, entertainer Sammy Davis Jr., who frequently participated in the Pro-Am events, lent his name to Greater Hartford Open. Also in 1973, Billy Casper won his record fourth and final Greater Hartford Open. In 1985, the first major corporate sponsor for the event surfaced in the form of Canon USA.
  • Starting in 1985 the event added Canon to the its name; however, the name would be altered just three years later. In 1988, Sammy Davis Jr. was removed from the name, and beginning in 1989, the tournament was became known as the Canon Greater Hartfod Open. By 2001, the tournament had grown to previously unrealized levels. Phil Mickelson’s personal best 61 as well as appearances by Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino headlined the tournament, which saw a record 318,000 spectators come out to watch the 50th annual Canon Greater Hartford Open. In 2004, a three-year partnership was forged between Buick and the GHO. The result was the Buick Championship. After the three-year contract expired, however, Buick decided not to renew the contract. Consequently, St. Paul Traveler’s stepped in to become the new title sponsor.

Course information:

TPC River Highlands

  • Cromwell, Ct.
  • 6,854 yards     Par 35-35–70
  • The TPC River Highlands has experienced as many changes as the name of the tournament it hosts. The original piece of property was designed in 1928 by R.J. Ross, cousin to the more notable golf course designer Donald Ross. The course was tied to the Edgewood Country Club. However, when the Greater Hartford Open was searching for a larger venue than its home at Wethersfield Country Club in 1982, the Edgewood Country Club seemed like a perfect fit. Before the venue was fit to host a major PGA Tour event, course renovations were necessary. The Greater Hartford Chapter of the USJC hired Pete Dye to renovate the Edgewood Country Club golf course. Dye’s finished product, known as The TPC Connecticut, hosted the Greater Hartford Open in 1984. One of the key features to the new course, especially the back nine, was the incorporation of amphitheatres to improve a fan’s viewing experience. In 1989, a re-design team that consisted of Bobby Weed, and consultants Howard Twitty and Roger Maltbie, made some additional changes. After the renovation, the course became known as the TPC River Highlands.
  • The golf course itself is forgiving. The par-70 course, measuring at 6,841 yards, has a Course Rating of 72.7 and a Slope Rating of 131. The tees and fairways are a 3/8″ cut of Bent Grass, while the greens are a 1/8″ cut of Bent Grass. The rough consists of a mixture of Kentucky Blue Grass, Perennial Rye Grass, and fine Fescue cut at just over 6 inches. The 132-acre venue has 119 bunkers and five water hazards that come into play on six holes. Golf Digest rated TPC at River Highlands as one of the six best courses in the state of Connecticut. Another notable achievements for the TPC at River Highlands was that it was the 49th course to become fully-certified in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP), which promotes ecologically sound land management and the conservation of natural resources.
  • Holes No. 4 and 10 provide the biggest challenge. The fourth hole is the most difficult on the golf course. It’s a severe dog-leg right that measures 460 yards. The tee-shot requires a heavy fade to reach the fairway, while avoiding the tree-line on the right-hand side. From there, the approach shot goes into a tight green with a bunker guarding the front left. As for the 10th hole, the 460-yard par 4 requires a slight draw to the left-hand side of a tiny fairway to avoid the large fairway bunker on the right. From the fairway, the player aims for a green that is protected by a front left and back right bunker. The most famous portion of the course, the three-hole stretch from 15 to 17, incorporates a four-acre lake that is affectionately dubbed the “Golden Triangle.” Those three holes, along with the 18th, make up one of the top finishing stretches on the PGA Tour.
  • In summer 2008 the new practice facility opened. The 23.5-acre facility is adjacent to the new First Tee of Connecticut nine-hole golf course that is in its initial phase of construction.
  • Last year TPC River Highlands played to a scoring average of 69.685, almost a half a shot under par.  It ranked as the 32nd hardest course on the PGA Tour.  In 2013 TPC River Highlands played to a 70.25 scoring average, just a quarter of a shot over par.  It ranked as the 20th hardest course on the PGA Tour.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Travelers:

Key stat for the winner:

The TPC at River Highlands is a different type of TPC course.  It was a reconfiguration of a traditional, old style course, but it still has some of that flavor.  Most of the greens are small, raised or crowned, making it a scrambler’s delight.  The tournament is well supported in the community — as many as 80,000 spectators could be in attendance this week — so the timid need not apply.  Another factor that comes into play is the fact that the tournament has close finishes every year (except of course in 2009 when Kenny Perry won by three).  Since it moved away from Wethersfield in 1983, 23 of the 32 tournaments have been decided by either a shot or a playoff, including in 2010 when Bubba Watson beat Scott Verplank and Corey Pavin in extra holes.  In 2012 Marc Leishman was a shot better than Charley Hoffman and Bubba Watson.  Last year it was another playoff, with Ken Duke getting the better of Chris Stroud.  Here is a chart that shows exactly how close tournaments have been in the 63-year history of the Travelers Championship:

  • Tournaments tied after 72 holes: 21
  • Tournaments won by one shot: 22
  • Tournaments won by two shots: 8
  • Tournaments won by three shots: 5
  • Tournaments won by four shots or more: 7

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • So what is the most important element for the most recent past champions of the Travelers?  Putting.  Look at Kevin Streelman last year, he was 1st in putting average, 8th in total putting and 3rd in strokes gained putting.  The year before Ken Duke was 1st in putting average, 3rd in total putting and 10th in strokes gained putting.  To put this into prespective, of the last eight champions in total number of putts, 5 of them were in the top-five and all of them were in the top-13, so putting well is the key to being successful.
  • Hitting it far is more important than accuracy because the last ten of 15 champions have been in the top-13 of the driving distance stat while only six winner have  broken into the top-ten of the accuracy stat just once.  But things could be changing, Last year’s winner Kevin Streelman was 48th in driving, 2013 winner Ken Duke was 57th in driving distance but T10th in accuracy so maybe things are changing but I still feel that hitting it far is a big advantage for a player.
  •  Playing the par 4s well is another key. Of the last 17 champions, ten have played those holes in 8-under or better, with Notah Begay III playing them in 16-under in 2000. Last year Streelman played the par 4s in 11-under par.
  • Hitting greens will be at a premium. Just like in a U.S. Open, hitting lots of greens goes a long way in this event.  Normally you would look for the winner to hit globs of greens and last year Streelman hit 53 and was ranked T-10th.  But the previous three years the winners were poor in hitting greens, still in looking at the last 14 champions, six of them were in the top-ten.
  • Now I don’t want to jinx the tournament, but weather in Connecticut will be inconsistent.  After a week of perfect weather at the U.S. Open, it’s back to the east coast muggy days for the practice rounds.  But after that the temperatures will be in the high 70s/low 80s.  There is a 60 % change of rain on both Friday and Sunday, the other days should be fine.

 

 

 

Who to watch for at the Travelers Championship

Best Bets:

Sergio Garcia

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T2 T43

Comes to a course that doesn’t demand really great putting. His tee to green game is enough to carry him over, watch him.

Brandt Snedeker

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T11 T24 CUT T47

Love him and he is now playing good again.

Louis Oosthuizen

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
WD T47

Great finish at Chambers Bay, looking for it to carry over.

Best of the rest:

Patrick Reed

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
CUT T18 T47

Look good for first two days at Chambers Bay, question will be if he can carry over the momentum he had.

Brendon de Jonge

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T42 T63 T8 CUT T9 T34 CUT

Just wondering if this guy can win, been waiting a while. This is a good course for him.

Bubba Watson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T31 4 T2 T38 Win T14 T6 CUT

Haven’t seen much of him, only played three times since the Masters and his game didn’t look sharp at Chambers Bay. But these guys are so good that they can turn it around in a heartbeat.

Francesco Molinari

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
First time playing in this event

Been knocking at the door, this is a great course for his tee to green game.

Solid contenders

Paul Casey

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
First time playing in this event

Question is does he have that early season mojo that he had, could be a good course for him.

Kevin Na

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
CUT WD T52 T9 T54 T32

One of these events that he is great out, look for a good finish.

Brendan Steele

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T5 T13 CUT T13

Does hit it long and far, good record in this event.

Keegan Bradley

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T31 T18 T29 T63

Almost like a home event for him.

Long shots that could come through:

Tony Finau

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
First time playing in this event

Been in the top-ten his last three starts, it’s getting time for him to contend.

Justin Thomas

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T30

Watch this kid, he could break out at any time.

Matt Jones

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T46 CUT CUT T13 CUT

Would love to see him back in the spotlight.

Comments

  1. steven englebright says:

    bit confused sal…your lead in first point indicates putting the key…your top pick summation re segio appears to be a odds with this..cheers steve e

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