2019 Travelers Championship DFS Preview

Gary Woodland was able to hold off Brooks Kopeka to secure his first major championship victory in what was a great week of golf that did not see the USGA attempt to take over the spotlight from the players. This week the PGA Tour returns to action for the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands located just outside of Hartford, Connecticut. 

TPC River Highlands: Par 70, 6,850 yards.

Greens: Poa

Average Driving Distance: (TPC RH 281 yards vs. PGA Tour Avg 283 yards)  

Hitting Fairways: Easy (TPC RH 67% vs. PGA Tour Avg 61%)  

Hitting Greens: Average (TPC RH 67% vs. PGA Tour Avg 66%)   

TPC River Highlands is one of the shortest courses on the PGA Tour and typically plays as one of the easiest with a winning score typically around 20 under par. The layout is somewhat like what we saw at Hamilton Golf and Country Club a couple of weeks ago for the RBC Canadian Open in that the primary defenses of TPC River Highlands are its rough, which has been historically kept long, tree lined fairways, and the course only having two par fives. As are most of the shorter courses on the PGA Tour, TPC River Highlands can be described as a second shot course. However, players will need to position themselves in the fairways in order to be able to fire at pins and because of this we see the accuracy stats increase here as many of the bombers in the field will club down off the tee. With only two par fives, players must not allow opportunities to go to waste and will need to be efficient there as well as on the course’s twelve par fours, eight of which measure between 400-450 yards. One additional scoring opportunity presents itself on the signature 15th hole, a drivable 296-yard par four. This is one of the best risk/reward holes on the PGA Tour with water to the left and sand to the right of the elevated green with shaved banks all around, anything from an eagle to a double bogey is possible. Course wide, approach shot distribution at TPC River Highlands has clustered in the 200-225 (two par threes and two par fives) and the 125-175 range on the par fours.   

Here are our top stats to consider this week:

  • Strokes Gained Approach
  • Opportunities Gained
  • Proximity 125-175
  • Par 4 Efficiency 400-450 yards
  • Birdies or Better Gained

Field Information:

Field Size: 156

Cut Rule: Top 70 and ties (MDF rule is in effect)

Notables in the Field: Brooks Kopeka, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Francesco Molinari, and Victor Hovland (low-am at the US Open, making pro debut).

The Travelers is one of the best run events on the PGA Tour and a favorite among many players which explains the relatively strong field the week after the US Open which was held on the other side of the country. Due to the grind that is major championship golf there will undoubtedly be some players who feel a bit of a hangover from last week and come out flat at TPC River Highlands and because of this it may be a good week to slightly reduce the amount of bankroll in play. However, the DFS sites have posted some good contests for us this week so there still is a nice amount of money out there to be won so let’s get to the picks. Here are two targets to build around for your DraftKings cash game/single entry GPP lineups. Get our best plays to construct the remainder of your lineup by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

Upper Mid-Range – Paul Casey – $9,500

It appears we are seeing a return to the consistent form Paul Casey provided us in 2018 as he posted a strong performance at Pebble Beach, ending up tied for 21st place. He was hitting fairways and greens all week and his strokes gained off the tee along with strokes gained approach numbers were both better in a much stronger field than they were when he posted a 2nd place finish at the AT&T Pro-Am in February. Casey also has a strong track record at TPC River Highlands as he has posted top five finishes in three of his last four starts at the Travelers and is a great way to start off your cash game lineups.

Value – Emiliano Grillo – $7,900

Last time I wrote Emiliano Grillo up was at the Memorial where he rewarded us with a solid 9th place finish. I was off him last week at the US Open where he finished in 58th place but that result was not indicative of how he hit the ball as it was due to his worst performance on the greens so far in 2019. His approach numbers were second best in the field at 8.4 strokes gained, even ahead of winner Gary Woodland. While not easy by any means, the greens at TPC River Highlands should be less difficult to navigate than the USGA set up last week so if Grillo can keep rolling with the irons he is likely to return good value for his price this week.

How we did last week:

Cash/Single Entry Article Plays:

Paul Casey – T21

Hideki Matsuyama – T21

Webb Simpson – T16

Optimal Sports Subscribers Core Plays:

Paul Casey – T21

Hideki Matsuyama – T21

Webb Simpson – T16

Henrik Stenson – T9

Tommy Fleetwood – T65

Adam Scott – T7

Last Week’s DraftKings Double Up Contest Result: Win

2018-2019 Season Double Up Record: 20-11

Record in Double Ups Since 1/1/18: 45-21

Brought to you by Optimal Sports DFS

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