Travelers Championship Analysis
25th – 28th June
Situated in Cromwell, Connecticut, TPC River Highlands is a sub-7,000-yard par 70. It’s a course that has also seen its fair share of history, with Jim Furyk once shooting a 58 here.
But low scores are common here. Holes 15-17 are the signature holes and known as the Golden Triangle, as the wind their way around the lake.
The course was originally built in 1928 and since been tweaked by both Pete Dye and Bobby Weed. It’s a generous test off the tee, which means that the smaller than average greens are not too hard to hit. The greens are Poa Annua, so expect a few putts to bobble off-line this week.
Many recent renewals of the Travelers Championship have been played in the week following the US Open, which is a potential reason why not many big names have featured here. Perhaps the likes of Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, John Rahm, and Dustin Johnson will perform better this week, but it’s hard to make a compelling case for backing any of them.
Justin Thomas could go well after two top-10 finishes in the first post-lockdown tournaments, but he’s only got one top-5 to his name in six previous visits.
But I am willing to make Bryson DeChambeau the first of our Travelers Championship tips 2020. He’s posted two top-10s on his last two visits to TPC River Highlands and has now finished in the top-8 in his last five tournaments. His putting has held him back in both the last two weeks, but his new protein-shake fuelled driving will surely see him grab a title soon.
Two other world-class players with decent course form that could contend this week are Paul Casey and Patrick Cantlay, especially Casey who has posted four top-5s in his last five visits to TPC River Highlands. But as neither has been seen in competitive action since before the PGA Tour schedule was suspended, you’re taking a chance that their freshness will outweigh any recent lack of match practice.
That means that Abraham Ancer is the second of our tips for the Travelers Championship. The Young Mexican has finished 14th and second on his last two starts, which ties in nicely with his debut eighth in last year’s renewal. He’s yet to win on tour but will surely win soon, as he appears to have no weaknesses in his game.
Joaquin Niemann is another youngster that has come back firing, finishing tied fifth last week on a packed leaderboard. He also occupied the same position in last year’s Travelers Championship and deserves a place in this week’s betting strategy on both course and current form.
If you love the horses for courses theory, Bubba Watson must be one of our Travelers Championship free tips this week. He’s won this event three times in his last 10 attempts, with a further two top-5 finishes for good measure. He faded late on in the RBC Heritage last week, but he’s playing well enough to contend if in the mood.
Brain Harmon is another player that seems re-motivated by the current pandemic. He’s caught the eye in finishing 23rd and 28th at Colonial Country Club and Harbour Town links in the last two weeks and he has some great form at TPC River Highlands. He was third here in 2015 and has finished 6th and 8th on his last two visits.
Kevin Tway isn’t an obvious pick on his current form, with his current run of missed cuts extending to five tournaments. But he’s often a streaky player and, if he’s to return to form somewhere, it could easily be here at TPC River Highlands. He’s finished sixth and fifth in the last two editions of the Travelers Championship and he looks like a player that could be crazily priced at odds in excess of 300/1 in places this week. That makes Tway the sixth and final of our tips for the 2020 Travelers Championship.