With the U.S. Open at Los Angeles CC behind us, we now travel across the country to TPC River Highlands (par 70, 6,852 yards, bentgrass greens with a slight POA mix) in Cromwell, Connecticut, for the Travelers Championship. Since 1984, TPC River Highlands has hosted every edition of this event. A year ago, Xander Schauffele won the Travelers by two shots, finishing at 19-under-par.
TPC River Highlands is a short Pete Dye designed track that favors accuracy over distance. Any length of player can contend at TPC River Highlands and while off-the-tee stats are mostly irrelevant at this less than driver venue, targeting players who are in convincing form with their irons is a must. TPC River Highlands is home to some of the smallest putting surfaces of any PGA TOUR track, and over the last four years we have seen three of the Travelers champions finish the event ranked top-six in SG: Approach. Catching fire with your flat stick is also essential if you want to contend at TPC River Highlands, and we need to be putting a large weight on putting stats. Including Schauffele, three of the past four Travelers winners have ranked top-10 in SG: Putting during their victories.
Last, but not least, we need to be prioritizing elite par-4 scores at TPC River Highlands. This is a standard par 70 with 12 par fours on the scorecard, with eight of these holes falling between 400-450 yards. This is without question the most important range of hole to focus this week. Over the last decade, nine of the golfers to take home the novelty check at the Travelers have finished the tournament top-10 in efficiency on the 400-450-yard par fours at TPC River Highlands.
The Travelers is one of this season’s elevated events and even coming off a major championship, 16 of the top-20 ranked players in the world will be competing in Cromwell for a $20 Million purse this week. After the U.S. Open using a slightly limited cut, we get back to a normal cut at the Travelers, with the top-65 and ties advancing after the first 36 holes.
Below, I have featured four of my favorite sub $7.5K DraftKings value plays for the Travelers Championship.
Austin Eckroat ($7,300) – Eckroat posted a T47 in his Travelers debut last season and is coming off a T10 at the U.S. Open, which marked his sixth made cut in a row and fourth consecutive top-30 finish. The 24-year-old closed the major out with a five-under 65 – which was the second best score recorded during the final round – and ranked fourth in SG: Tee-to-Green for the week among the stacked field at Los Angeles CC. In fact, the 12.4 strokes from tee-to-green that Eckroat generated set a new career-high for him, and he now sits at a career-best No. 85 in the Offiicial World Golf Rankings following this impressive finish.
Eckroat ranks top-30 in SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach and par-4 efficiency when we analyze this field’s past 24 rounds, and is simply too cheap for his sensational form. At +8000 on the DraftKings Sportsbook, Eckroat carries the best odds to win the Travelers of all the golfers priced under $7.5K for DFS.
Eric Cole ($7,300) – Cole has never teed it up at TPC River Highlands before, but is an excellent fit for the par 70. Over his last 50 rounds, the 35-year-old ranks 27th in SG: Approach, 20th in par-4 efficiency, 16th in birdie or better percentage and 10th in SG: Putting.
Cole comes into this week as the maker of seven of his last 10 cuts – including five top-25 finishes – and has advanced to the weekend at five straight venues that present bentgrass greens. Cole brings great upside relative to his cheap price tag and could get slightly overlooked with no previous Travelers experience.
Mark Hubbard ($6,900) – It’s hard not to love Hubbard at this sub $7K salary. The 34-year-old arrives in Cromwell riding a seven made cut streak at standard stroke play events, with six of these finishes coming inside the top 30. Hubbard’s irons have been lights out during this run, gaining strokes on approach at all seven of these tournaments, while ranking 10th in the category when we compare this world class field’s last 36 rounds.
This current cut streak has vaulted Hubbard up a whopping 73 spots in the Official World Golf Rankings to a career-best No. 87, and he now brings this outstanding form to TPC River Highlands, where the San Jose University product has never missed a cut in five appearances. A top-30 finish is a realistic outcome for Hubbard this weekend and he needs to be one of your core plays for the Travelers.
Chez Reavie ($6,700) – Reavie is vastly underpriced for his chances of making the cut this week. In his last start, Reavie carded a T25 at the RBC Canadian Open, in which he finished eighth for the week in SG: Tee-to-Green. Furthermore, the veteran tallied a seven-under 65 during the final round, which marked Reavie’s lowest score of the season.
Looking to build off this terrific round, the 41-year-old now travels to TPC River Highlands, where Reavie won the 2019 Travelers, which is just one of his three top-25 finishes at the Dye design over the last four years.
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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 skills 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.