Next on the PGA TOUR schedule following Matthew Fitzpatrick’s victory at the U.S. Open is a trip to TPC River Highlands (Par 70, 6,852 yards, Bentgrass/POA greens) in Cromwell, Connecticut for the Travelers Championship. Since this event joined the annual PGA TOUR rotation back in 1984, TPC River Highlands has been the only venue to host a Travelers Championship, with Harris English being last year’s winner at -13, defeating Kramer Hickock in a playoff.
Designed by the late Pete Dye, TPC River Highlands is one of the shortest courses used at the PGA TOUR level. Combine this factor with wide and easy to find fairways, and any length of player can contend at this par 70. On the other hand, having a top notch performance with your irons is essential at TPC River Highlands, with three of the last five champions in Cromwell ranking in the top-seven in SG APP during their wins. Equally as important for success at TPC River Highlands is being an efficient par-4 player. As a par 70, this Dye design is home to 12 par 4s and only two par 5s. Notably, seven of the past eight golfers to card a win at TPC River Highlands have led their fields in SG on the par 4s. Specifically, eight of the 12 par 4s at this track land between 400-450 yards, making this is an obvious range to focus on.
With last week’s U.S. Open taking place only about two hours north of TPC River Highlands in Brookline, Massachusetts, a large majority of that world-class field have decided to make the short trip down to Cromwell for the Travelers this week. In fact, 10 of the top-20 ranked players in the world are listed in this field as of Monday night. Also, due note, after the smaller cut used at the U.S. Open, the Travelers will have a standard top-65 and ties cut following the first 36 holes for this full field of 156 golfers.
Below, I dive into four of my favorite DraftKings value plays for the Travelers that are priced under $7.5K.
Mackenzie Hughes ($7,400) – Hughes loves teeing it up at TPC River Highlands, never missing a cut at this venue in five appearances, including a T3 two years ago. Now, the 31-year-old returns to Cromwell on the heels of a T24 at the U.S. Open. Not only did this extend Hughes’ cut streak to three in a row, it also marked the third straight start the Canadian has collectively gained strokes with his irons and flat stick. In this compelling form, Hughes should add another quality finish to his impressive Travelers resume and is one of the best bargains of the week.
Emiliano Grillo ($7,100) – Grillo is an easy choice at this low price point. The Argentinian is currently riding a five made streak, with the last finish of this run being a T28 at the Canadian Open. That week, Grillo generated 7.4 strokes from T2G, 4.1 strokes on APP and ranked fifth in birdies. This marked the fifth consecutive tournament the 29-year-old has gained strokes from T2G and while Grillo’s putter will always be shaky, it’s hard to imagine his elite ball striking won’t get him through the cut this week in Cromwell. At this par 70, Grillo boasts a 4/5 record in terms of made cuts, most notably with a T19 in 2018.
Adam Long ($7,000) – Long is fresh off a T21 finish at the Canadian Open, in which he gained strokes in every major category and ranked eighth for the week in par 4 efficiency. Including this result, Long has advanced to the weekend in nine of his last 14 starts, with three finishes inside the top 25 coming over this span. Additionally, Long has posted a top 25 in two of his three attempts at TPC River Highlands and ranks third in this field in SG on 400-450 yard par 4s over his last 50 rounds. Inexcusably, Long’s salary has been cut $800 since that great showing at the Canadian Open, making him a tough value to ignore.
Tyler Duncan ($6,400) – While Duncan missed the weekend at the Canadian Open in his last start, this was simply a result of one poor round. The 32-year-old opened the event with a 6-over 76, but then bounced back with one of the best scores of the second round, carding a 4-under 66. Duncan ended up missing the weekend by one stroke, but this was obviously a very encouraging sign for him going forward. Before this, Duncan had supplied a T59 at the Byron Nelson and then a T15 at the Charles Schwab Challenge, while gaining strokes from T2G and on APP in both starts. Now, the Purdue graduate heads back to TPC River Highlands this week, where he has never missed the weekend in four tries. Furthermore, Duncan’s price tag on DraftKings has dropped a whopping $1,700 since his speedbump at the Canadian Open. With low ownership more than likely coming his way with a MC as his last start, Duncan is an elite sleeper pick for GPPs.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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