This week the Tour heads back east to the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. Players will face a course that can yield low numbers (see Furyk’s 58 in 2016). There are typically two types of player that succeed at this course: those who are super aggressive off the tee and have short wedges into many par 4s (think Bubba Watson) or those who methodically pick apart the course by hitting a large number of solid approach shots from 120-160 yards (think Ryan Moore). This tournament also tends to see a high correlation between course history and current-year results.
Let’s dig into some players who fit this mold this week:
Kevin Streelman $8,200
Most people will balk at Streelman at this price tag, but if we dig into his profile for this week, we can see that he can make a great tournament play. In his last eight starts at this event, he has three top 10s, including a win in 2014. This year his game has been resurrected, as he has finished sixth or better in three of his last five starts. During that five-event time frame, he has gained a whopping 27 strokes on approach!
Emiliano Grillo $7,900
Grillo has been on fire with his irons of late. He has gained 19 strokes on approach in his last four events. He has gained strokes on approach in all but one event since August 2018! He is a great play for all formats. He has missed only one cut since the Open Championship last year. In his two starts at the Travelers, he has finished 19th and 43rd.
One and Done
Watson has won this event three times (2010, 2015, 2018). He comes in rested after a missed cut at the U.S. Open. Interestingly enough, he led the field in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee through two rounds last week. Bubba loves this course, as it allows him to be creative off the tee and use his driver, which is his best weapon. I save Bubba every year for this event.
Moore has finished 17th or better in six of his last eight appearances at the Travelers. His game has quietly been trending in the right direction; he has gained strokes on approach in eight of his last nine events.