Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Travelers Championship
The PGA Tour heads to New England following the year's third major for the Travelers Championship, one of the longest standing events on Tour.
TPC River Highlands awaits, a 6,841 yard par 70 track just outside Hartford, Connecticut. It is annually the only non-major and non-playoff PGA event held in the northeast, so much of the field is treading in unfamiliar territory. It has been the follow up to the U.S. Open since 2007 (except in 2016 when it was moved to accommodate the Olympics schedule), and it is the last hurrah before a run of weaker events lead up to the Open Championship.
Accuracy off the tee is more important than distance here for most golfers, but if you can let it rip off the tee keep it in play that is a huge leg up on the field. Ballstrikers have stormed the leaderboard when they've been on their game, but plenty of shorter hitters have contended here as well. Tree-lined fairways are the view off most tee boxes, and those obstacles combined with heavy rough make it essential to keep it in the short stuff.
Let's dig into the course and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: TPC River Highlands
Distance: 6,841 yards
Tees/Fairways/Rough: Bentgrass/poa annua tees and fairways, and Kentucky Bluegrass/perennial ryegrass/fine fescue rough
Greens: Bentgrass with poa annua
|Season||Par||Yardage||Average||O/U Par Avg||Rank|
TPC River Highlands rewards all around play. It is annually, predictably middle-of-the-pack in terms of scoring, but how golfers get there varies greatly. The course yielded the 13th most birdies and the 16th most bogeys last year, making this event perfect for daily fantasy contests that reward birdie makers.
Performance at the U.S. Open has not been a prerequisite to success here, as three of the last five winners had missed the cut at the U.S. Open. Hunter Mahan finished T13 at the 2007 U.S. Open before his win at Travelers the following week, and since then no higher finisher at the major has taken down the Travelers. However, the U.S. Open is generally a longer, more difficult course that would not serve as a comparable lead-in for TPC River Highlands, and Pebble Beach is a shorter course and was far friendlier this year than a typical U.S. Open. Major hangover is a real thing, but what worked at Pebble should work here.
These stats will be key to success in the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands.
|Key Stats for the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s (400-450 yards)|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
As covered above, overall play is important because the formula varies from year to year. Bombers and scramblers alike have seen success at this event, and while approach is once again the highest individual tee to green stat it is by no means a runaway. Strokes gained: tee to green covers all facets of the game besides putting, and with more than one way to get the job done here it makes sense to focus on golfers who are either well-rounded or so skilled at one facet that it buoys their overall tee to green stats.
The greens are fairly large and have produced a greens in regulation percentage over 68% in three of the last four years. With most golfers clubbing down off the tee and hitting into large greens, the baseline for approaches will be higher than normal this week. Golfers who routinely gain the most strokes on approach can sustain performance against a higher baseline and should be the target this week.
Eight of the par 4s fall between 400-450, and the driveable 15th is just 296 yards. Focus on golfers who score well on shorter par 4s and shorter courses overall.
And, of course, birdies or better makes the list. With so much volatility in scoring here, golfers who gain birdies or better on the field consistently will make their fair share this week and rack up fantasy points as a result.
Course History Studs
Bubba Watson is a three-time champion at TPC River Highlands, including last year's come-from-behind victory with a Sunday 63. Paul Casey was the man Bubba caught in the final round last year for his second runner up finish in the past four years. Casey also has finishes of T5 and T17 in that span.
Charley Hoffman has played this course four times in the last five years and finished 26th or better each time, with a best of T3 in 2017. Brandt Snedeker missed the cut last year but had three top 15s in the four prior years.
Russell Henley has played here just twice in the last five years, but has finishes of T6 last year and T11 in 2016. He has played all but one round under par.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.