Strong Field for 2020 Travelers Championship
After a highly-successful RBC Heritage won by Webb Simpson, the PGA Tour shifts to the northeast for the Travelers Championship. Played annually at this time in Cromwell, Connecticut, the Travelers is anticipating one of their strongest Fields ever, as many of the game’s top pros will once again tee off this week.
Let’s take a look at some of the big names you’ll see in this tournament, what you can expect to see at TPC River Highlands, and what are the best golf betting picks.
The Travelers Championship Field
Once again, we will see most of golf’s highest-ranked players competing this week, led by world number one Rory McIlroy. Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson, and Jon Rahm are just some of the names you’ll see in Connecticut. In addition, Patrick Cantlay will return to competition for the first time since before the Tour was suspended.
There are plenty of other big name golfers who are joining the field. Three-time winner Bubba Watson headlines a group that also includes Major-winners Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, and Gary Woodland. Last week’s runner-up Abraham Ancer is also back, as are veterans Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson.
However, there are still some elite players who are electing to sit out this tournament. Both Tyrell Hatton and Daniel Berger will skip the Travelers after T3 finishes last week in Hilton Head. In addition, Tiger Woods and Adam Scott are still waiting to make their post-quarantine debuts.
TPC River Highlands is located in Cromwell, Connecticut, a suburb just south of Hartford. It’s a relatively small course, a Par-70 measuring out to just 6,844 yards, with average-sized fairways and greens throughout. Wind may be a factor, and water is in play on four holes total. However, three of those holes, 15-17, make up the famous ‘Golden Triangle which surrounds a giant lake.
This is a course that has the potential to see some low scores. The great Jim Furyk shot a 58 in a round back in 2016, while Kenny Perry went 22-under Par to win in 2009. Overall, dating back to Perry, the average winning score has been -16, so nice weather and no fans can lead some similar scores we saw last weekend at Harbour Town.
Some recent winners of this tournament who are back in field include Watson, who’s aiming to become the second four-time winner of the event. Last year’s winner Chez Reavie is back, as is the 2017 champion Spieth and 2016 victor Russell Knox. Other previous champs like Kevin Streelman and Marc Leishman will also be in this year’s field.
The Travelers Championship Picks By Realbookies Per Head
Justin Thomas +1000 – The reigning FedEx Cup champion has continued to impress this season, finishing in the top-10 in the last two weeks. There is perhaps no one on Tour more consistent than Thomas, who is fifth in SG: Approach and third in SG: Tee-to-Green while also averaging the second-most birdies per round. He is the co-favorite along with McIlroy, but Thomas is about as safe of a golf bet there is to contend any given weekend.
Bryson DeChambeau +1200 – This is another player who seems to as consistent as they come. Ever since returning to the Tour with a brand new frame, DeChambeau has finished T3 and T8, going par or better in all eight rounds. “The Scientist” is second in SG: Off-the-Tee and third in SG: Total, while leading the pack in driving distance. We’ll see if he can continually improve here at River Highlands, where he has played four times including in a T8 finish in 2019.
Patrick Cantlay +2000 – Cantlay is the biggest name and the best golfer entering the field for the first time this week, but there shouldn’t be much rust. The 28-year old was putting together a nice season, which included solo second and fourth-place finishes before the shutdown. He is fourth in SG: Approach, seventh in SG: Total, and well inside the top-10 in birdie average. Cantlay has back-to-back T15 finishes in Cromwell, but also set a then-course record of 60, back in 2011 as a 19-year old.
Bubba Watson +2500 – If there’s an instance where you go off of course history, this might be it. No one loves TPC River Highlands than Watson, who won the Travelers in 2010, 2015, and 2018. He also has T2, fourth, and T6 finishes under his belt here. Two weeks ago, Bubba finished the Charles Schwab Challenge at -13, good for a T7 finish, so the form is currently there. Perhaps Watson can find magic here again.
Abraham Anderson +3000 – It only seems like a matter of time before Ancer wins. Last week in Hilton Head seemed like his breakthrough, where he finished at -21 and led the field in greens-in-regulation as well as proximity. However, he fell just short of Simpson. But don’t be mistaken, Ancer’s solo second succeeds his T14 finish in Ft. Worth, and now the 29-year old from Mexico is in the top-15 overall in SG: Approach, SG: Tee-to-Green, and scoring average. After a T8 finish last year at the Travelers, Ancer may finally be due.
Brian Harman +7500 (Sleeper) – Harman is another golfer who has been playing some solid golf and returning to a course he enjoys. The 33-year old has made the cut at River Highlands in eight of nine starts, and has earned three top-10 finishes. In addition, he has six top-25 finishes over his last 14 total starts, and has finished in the top-30 each of the last two weeks. While he is certainly a long-shot to win, a +650 bet for him finishing in the top-10 is incredibly reasonable.
Travelers Championship Honorable Mentions
Justin Rose +2200
Paul Casey +3000
Sergio Garcia +4000
Marc Leishman +4500
Scottie Scheffler +7000
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