Travelers Championship 2022 Preview

TPC River Highlands is the annual landing spot after the US Open and this year isn’t any different.

via @PGATOUR

Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands

Cromwell, Connecticut

Weekly Readers:

Horses for Courses – click here

Expert Picks – click here

Pick ‘Em LIVE – click here

PGA TOUR Champions – click here

Korn Ferry Tour Power Rankings – click here

TPC River Highlands

Yards (per official scorecard):6,852
Par:70 (35-35)
Greens:Poa annua/Bentgrass; 5,000 square feet.
Stimpmeter:12 feet.
Rough:Bluegrass/Fescue four inches plus.
Bunkers/Water Hazards69/4 (Water in play on 5 holes).
Architects:Pete Dye (1982); Bobby Weed (1989); PGA TOUR, Bobby Weed (2016).
Course Record (last):58; Jim Furyk (2016).
Tournament Scoring Record:258; Kenny Perry, 2009.
Fact of the Week:Stewart Cink is the only multiple champion in the field.
Fact of the Week II:Jordan Spieth is the youngest winner at 23 and the only winner in his 20s in the last seven.

Notes:

  • Full field of 156
  • Top 65 and ties play the final 36 holes.
  • TPC River Highlands has hosted since 1984.

Previous Winners

Italics – not entered this week

YearPlayerNotes
2021Harris English, -13Defeated Kramer Hickok in an EIGHT HOLE PLAYOFF OMG.
2020Dustin Johnson,     -19Trailed by two after 54, won by a shot over Kevin Streelman.
2019Chez Reavie, -17Led by SIX after 54, cruised to victory.
2018Bubba Watson, -17Trailed by SIX after 54, shot 63 to win by three.
2017Jordan Spieth, -12Holed a bunker shot to defeat Daniel Berger in a playoff. Neither are entered this week.
2016Russell Knox, -14Held off 47-year old Jerry Kelly to win by one.
2015Bubba Watson, -16Opened with 62, defeated Paul Casey in a playoff for his second win here.
2014Kevin Streelman, -15Birdied the final seven holes to win by one.

OAD

Spotter’s Game 2022

2022 EventsGolferPlaceTotal $$
    
Sentry Tournament of ChampionsMarc LeishmanT10188,000
Sony Open in HawaiiKeith MitchellT7227,812
The American ExpressSeamus PowerT14119,700
Farmers Insurance OpenJon RahmT3445,200
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmMaverick McNealyT3343,548
WM Phoenix OpenHideki MatsuyamaT8248,050
The Genesis InvitationalPatrick CantlayT3364,000
The Honda ClassicSungjae ImMC0
Arnold Palmer InvitationalRory McIlroyT13228,000
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipDaniel BergerT13327,222
Valspar ChampionshipKeegan BradleyMC0
WGC – Dell Match PlayPaul CaseyT6041,000
Corales PuntacanaEmiliano GrilloMC0
Valero Texas OpenCorey ConnersT3541,925
Masters TournamentJordan SpiethMC0
RBC HeritageMatt FitzpatrickMC0
Zurich Classic of New OrleansIan Poulter13th69,803
Mexico Open at VidantaDavis Riley5th299,300
Wells Fargo ChampionshipTony FinauT4133,750
AT&T Byron NelsonWill ZalatorisMC0
PGA ChampionshipScottie SchefflerMC0
Charles Schwab ChallengeMax HomaT2377,700
Memorial TournamentCollin MorikawaMC0
RBC Canadian OpenJhonattan VegasT5320,387
US OpenXander SchauffeleT14241,302
    
Total Events: 25Top 10: 5MC: 8      $2,716,699
    

This Week – Travelers Championship

Time to rejuvenate the soul, make a few birdies and take in NYC.

That’s the formula this week as the Travelers, since 2007, has been the US Open comedown.

Those who had a week off should be rested and ready. Those who had the weekend off will be eager to get it back in gear. Those who ground out all 72 holes at The Country Club knew exactly what their schedule was going to be this week so that doesn’t bother me either.

TPC River Highlands is short and scoreable. Par-4s will have to carry the freight as the Par-70 only has a pair of Par-5. There’s room to swing it off the tee but this is a shot-makers course that is rarely bombed into submission. Finding GIR and avoiding bogeys works this week. Scores in the 70s need not apply either as the average winning score is around 15-under annually.

Sure, we’ve seen 58 here (didn’t win), 60, 61 and a bunch of 62s and 63s but this isn’t an  easy track. Scoring on the scoring holes and taking the pars on the others suggests patience and execution.

No wonder why most everyone who wins here is in the their 30s when lifting the trophy.

THE CHOICE: Seamus Power (+4500)
What a difference a year makes. In 2021 he was a Monday qualifier here and in 2022 he’s coming off T12 at the US Open. Second in Par-4 scoring he also sits T9 GIR and top 35 in Putting.

Ha. Already burned him.

So it’s DENNY MCCARTHY TIME

My bad, and thanks to Spotter for, er, spotting this.

Warm Blankets: The guys who should. Safe selections that will help maintain leads. Opinions on why or why not for this event or save for later.

Rory McIlroy (+1000): I can’t this week with the bigger money events lurking on the horizon. You can. I can’t.

Scottie Scheffler (+1100): Still trying to figure out how he MC at Southern Hills…Every event in 2022 that he’s cashed is T25 or better minus THE PLAYERS. Again, if you haven’t, I’m probably saving him for the FEC Playoffs when the big money is out.

Justin Thomas (+1200): WD – Back issue.

Patrick Cantlay (+1400): No top 10s here even with his 60 as an amateur.

Xander Schauffele (+2000): Three starts, T14 is the best from two made cuts. US Open fatigue?

Sam Burns (+2000): Where’s the first tee and what’s the course record?

Jordan Spieth (+2200): The 2017 champ has played three times since his hole-out victory and the best of the bunch is T42.

Sungjae Im (+2800): Broke 68 here once in eight tries.

Spicy: This might be a week for sending out an “unknown” and saving a start. You just might get lucky. Or MC.

Joaquin Niemann (+3000): Eight straight TOUR, T5 here on debut (3-3) and gets the ball in the hole.

Keegan Bradley (+3000): You’re paying for last week, you know this right? Cashed 9 straight here before MC-MC the last two years.

Tony Finau (+3300): MC last 3 times here.

Davis Riley (+4000): This might be the last week you get him in the 40s or better. Ken Duke was the last to win his first TOUR event here (2013).

Aaron Wise (+4500): Lovely run of form the last two months.

Mito Pereira (+5000): Nice weekend off after missing on the number at The Country Club. Back at it.

Brendan Steele (+6600): Yes, please.

Jason Day (+6600): Big week coming on a course he plays well but has never conquered.

Keith Mitchell (+8000): I can’t figure out why this number is this high. So I’ll bet it to find out.

Brendon Todd (+9000): Think Colonial but shorter and less crooked.

3 AM at the Blackjack Table: Caution is thrown to the wind. Maybe not the best for this format but what the hell, right? Might throw these in if you’re in need of a miracle.

Aaron Rai (+12500)

Adam Long (+15000)

Kevin Streelman (+15000)

Funny Money Long Shots:

Hank Lebioda (+20000)

Mark Hubbard (+20000)

John Huh (+22500)

Justin Lower (+30000)

Cole Hammer (+50000)

Last Time – 122nd United States Open

Well, that was fun!

Minus being competitive in OAD but I haven’t been in months so what’s the difference???

Schauffele’s incredible run at US Open venues continues as he’s now 6-6 and T14, of course this week when I select him, is the worst of the bunch.

Sad!

THE CHOICE: Xander Schauffele (+2200)

Warm Blankets: The guys who should. Safe selections that will help maintain leads. Opinions on why or why not for this event or save for later.

Rory McIlroy (+1000): How could he not be No. 1 on this list after that performance last week? It’s been 11 years since his last US Open triumph, the same amount of time between Julius Boros and Hale Irwin, the longest gap in history. Another week, another top 10 with T5.

Justin Thomas (+1200): Winning two majors in the same season has the deck stacked against him from the word go. I doubt he’ll care one cent. He’ll look to join Brooks Koepka (2018) as the last to accomplish that feat. It will be easier finding a grounds ticket this week than finding any holes in his game. T37 after three rounds above par to close.

Jon Rahm (+1200): He told us all today he doesn’t play for money but rather competition and history. It’s odd to type that his three worst finishes when making the cut in 2022 are the two majors and THE PLAYERS Championship. Odd indeed. Short game has been the issue. Stood on the 18th tee Saturday with the lead yet finished T14.

Scottie Scheffler (+1400): I’m old enough to remember when every time he teed it up he would win! After three wins in four starts he’s fallen apart. His next five include one MC and four results of T18 or better, including a playoff loss to Sam Burns. For shame! Scrambling is also his weakest part but only Rahm hits more GIR. Hit more, scramble less! T2 makes his MC at Southern Hills look even stranger.

Cameron Smith (+2000): Already destroyed one “trend” recently (see his record at the Memorial) and will have to do so again this week. He’s just 4/6 in US Opens and nothing better than T38 after his T4 display at Chambers Bay. His other four top 10s in majors are at the Masters. This is quite the opposite of the Masters. MC 72-74 and never factored.

Patrick Cantlay (+2200): Same questions circling here as the Californian has had ZERO form concerns (2nd, WIN, T3 in his last three non-majors). From 21 majors starts he’s pocked two top 10 paydays. One at the Masters when he led in the final round (T9) in 2019 and followed it with T3 at the PGA Championship. T17 is his next best finish since and he’s MC in two of his last three. Confounding to say the least. As he showed at Memorial, he saves his best for the weekend. His 70-69 moved him to T14.

Jordan Spieth (+2500): Hell, let’s make it three in a row! His best US Open finish since his 2015 title at Chambers Bay was another West Coast event as he cashed T19 at Torrey Pines. One top 10 from 10 events doesn’t inspire but he was T3, like Cantlay, at Bethpage Black in 2019. Nobody said this would be easy. Didn’t break 70 over four rounds T37.

Shane Lowry (+2800): Excels when putting the ball in the fairway is required and this week qualifies. Doesn’t have to worry about winning that first major either. One finish outside the top 25 on his own ball in stroke play. Massive surprise as he MC by a shot.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (+2800): Only player in the field to win the last time he stepped foot on this course. Too many good results and too many good vibes for this week. WINNER OF THE 122ND US OPEN on the same course he won the US Amateur in 2013. Did you know that???

Sam Burns (+2800): Keeps checking off box after box after box in his breakout season. Now do it in a major. Doubt him at your own peril but this is pressure he hasn’t faced yet. Learning curve ain’t steep but it’s still there. T27 after 76 on Sunday knocked him back.

Will Zalatoris (+2800): Went close at Southern Hills. Went close at ANGC. In eight majors he’s hit the top 10 in five of them with a top 10 at every one minus The Open Championship. I still can’t believe he hasn’t won on TOUR yet. He’ll have to make some putts this week for pars and that’s the issue here. Missed a 14 footer to force a playoff. He’s the real deal and needs to eat a sandwich. T2.

Collin Morikawa (+2800): 10 played total, two wins and five top 10s. Just majors. Since solo fifth at the Masters his best payday is T26. How many guys “fix it” at a major? He did. But not really. But good enough for ANOTHER Top 5 (T5).

Spicy: This might be a week for sending out an “unknown” and saving a start. You just might get lucky. Or MC.

Tony Finau (+3000): Hotter than a lobster pot on boil. Confidence matches on tracks like this. Get me down. No lobster after MC.

Sungjae Im (+3500): No PGA Championship because of COVID-19 but T15 at Colonial and T10 at Memorial in his last two suggests he’s on song. MC on the number.

Max Homa (+4000): No value because he’s demonstrated time and time again that he’s a factor on the more difficult tracks. Don’t look up his US Open record though…Opened with 69 and that was that. T47.

Brooks Koepka (+5000): One of these numbers that I just can’t let slide by. Nothing major but I want to make sure I’m not shaking my head on Sunday. Injuries, a wedding, and a quiet 2022 on the course don’t inspire. I liked that he was pissed off at his press conference. Maybe that’s the jolt he needs. If this course plays impossible and he’s 90% healthy he’ll factor. At this price, I’ll see. LV before joining LIV. Did you see what I did there, then?

Daniel Berger (+5500): Cashed in four straight of these and has top 10s at Shinnecock and Torrey. I’ll point out he’s posted an 80 in each of the first two majors this season but also cashed T5 at a difficult Memorial his last time out. OH THE CHOICES!!! MC.

Tommy Fleetwood (+7000): The anti-Berger! Best finishers are the majors and T10 at Harbour Town on smallllll greens. Same result this week! MC.

Abraham Ancer (+9000): Like the fairway finder, but this number isn’t as deep as I would like. His T9 at Southern Hills stands out from a chilly spring.  WD to LIV.

3 AM at the Blackjack Table: Caution is thrown to the wind. Maybe not the best for this format but what the hell, right? Might throw these in if you’re in need of a miracle.

Webb Simpson (+11000) – MC

Brian Harman (+17500) – T43

Ryan Fox (+17500) – MC

Sepp Straka (+22500) – MC

Funny Money Long Shots:

Lanto Griffin (+27500) – MC

Matthew NeSmith (+30000 ) – Opened 68-69 before T37

Denny McCarthy (+30000) – T7

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s