Travelers Championship Betting Tips & Preview – Thursday 21st June 2018

There were some who thought that Brooks’ Koepka’s win in last year’s US Open was an aberration. The big hitting American made the most of soft conditions at Erin Hills, a course that many thought was far too easy. Koepka made those critics eat their words last week though by defending the championship thanks to an admirably gutsy display at the incredibly challenging Shinnecock Hills.

Koepka said after his win at Shinnecock that his goal is to start winning more regular PGA Tour events and he has a chance to do that straight away as he is in the field for this week’s Travelers Championship in Connecticut. He’ll have to beat another very strong field to do so though and the effects of fatigue mean it could well be worth siding instead with two time winner, Bubba Watson.

Top Tips

Bubba Watson @ 33/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Course Info

The only thing that TPC River Highlands and Shinnecock Hills have in common is that they are both par 70s. This week’s course is much shorter than last week’s at 6,841 yards from the back tees and it’s also attackable, unlike Shinnecock which was all about eliminating mistakes. It’s not exactly challenging off the tee and hitting the greens is relatively easy even if they are smaller than the PGA Tour average. Jordan Spieth perhaps showed better than anyone in his win last year that putting well is preferable to driving the ball well and even to hitting quality approach shots.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
TPC River Highlands Cromwell, Connecticut 6,841 Yards $7,000,000

Recent Winners

You have to go back to Kenny Perry’s win in 2009 for the last time that the Travelers Championship was not won either by a playoff or by a single stroke. This is the sort of course at which the world’s best players can go under par with relative ease so rarely are players completely out of contention. The presence of multiple major champions Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson in the list of recent winners alongside Russell Knox and Kevin Streelman (who have four PGA Tour wins between them) show that winners can come from different parts of the betting market.

YearWinnerTo ParWinning Margin
2017 Jordan Spieth -12 Playoff
2016 Russell Knox -14 1 Stroke
2015 Bubba Watson -16 Playoff
2014 Kevin Streelman -15 1 Stroke
2013 Ken Duke -12 Playoff

Analysis: Putting and the Confidence to Attack the Attributes to Concentrate On

Jordan Spieth was saved by his putting during the 2017 Travelers Championship. Little else about his game was in good order but he arrives at TPC River Highlands this time around with major concerns about his putting. That lack of confidence is sure to do for Spieth’s chances of defending the title as players must be confident with their play both into and on the greens to win this tournament.

Bubba’s Ryder Cup Hopes to Get a Boost in Connecticut

Bubba Watson was bitterly disappointed not be called up to the USA team for the 2016 Ryder Cup. Still, he sucked up his personal disappointment to do what he could for the team as a vice captain. The upturn in Watson’s play means he is currently seventh in the points rankings for a place in Paris and he could pretty much seal his place in the team with a third Travelers Championship win.

Watson has shown throughout his career that certain courses suit his eye much better than others. He loves layouts that allow him to utilise his creativity and to be aggressive with his play into the greens. TPC River Highlands ticks both of those boxes. Bubba is also full of confidence having tasted success twice already in 2018. Providing he putts well, Watson could be impossible to stop at tempting odds of 33/1 with Bet365.

Day’s Putting to Keep Him in Contention

Like Watson, Jason Day found the challenge of Shinnecock Hills too much. He was disappointed to miss the cut but must have felt a little happy that he was not subjected to the course set up on Saturday and will be nice and fresh for this week in Connecticut. Day also missed the cut at TPC River Highlands last year but he will have learned from the mistakes of 12 months ago and has a different caddie on the bag this time around.

As well as having all the power and ball striking ability in the world, the Aussie tops the stats for strokes gained putting on the PGA Tour this season. He’ll make more than his fair share of birdies and should threaten the odd eagle on the par fives so Day is the man most likely to capitalise should Bubba Watson fluff his lines at 18/1 with Bet365.

Grillo to Build on Solid Year

Emiliano Grillo has put in the miles in his quest to reach the upper echelons of golf. Having competed on the European Tour for years he is now playing full time on the PGA Tour and has already picked up his first win in America. Grillo is having another very solid season with a handful of top 10 finishes. He is a beautiful putter who will take plenty of chances this week and can get inside that coveted top 50 in the world by contending this week at 66/1 with Ladbrokes.

Final Verdict: Bubba Watson to Win

After a prolonged period of struggle things have happily turned around for Bubba Watson. One of the clichés of golf is that it need characters and he is certainly one of those thanks to his both his personality and the unique way he approaches the game. Watson is a horse for this course and looks overpriced at 33/1.

About

The Travellers Championship is not only a big hit on the PGA Tour with professionals, but also with the fans. In fact, only the Waste Management Phoenix Open gets more players through the doors over the course of a week than the Travellers. Numbers in 2017 were actually a record, with 290,000 in attendance over the week.

The tournament is held at TPC River Highlands, which is based just outside of Cromwell, Connecticut. It's been here for a good part of its life, since it first started back in 1952. The course was actually purchased by the PGA Tour and totally redesigned to accommodate a new direction of courses and clubs that were in rotation at the time.

The course is actually pretty unique in that it's one of the shortest that are on tour at the minute. It measures just 6,844 yards in total, which gives a unique challenge to players who are used to courses in excess of 7,200 on a regular basis. As a result, you often get a fairly wide range of player styles that win it, from long bombers who just take it bits, to short iron specialists that are able to attack flags with shorter irons than usual.

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