Winner’s Share: $1,116,000
After Martin Kaymer played Tiger Woods in the 2014 drama US Open at Pinehurst, we turn our attentions to the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. This was a joy to watch last year as the then 44 year old Ken Duke won his maiden PGA Tour title after years of toiling around the globe. The American’s win also highlighted what the course was all about, finding the fairways.
Last year Duke also putted and scrambled out of his skin and it will take someone doing much of the same this week to take the title. With water and plenty of bunkers in play, if your man has not been driving the ball straight in recent weeks it’s hard to see them doing well here. The course measures 6,841 and is a renowned low scoring par 70.
Field Watch: Watson comes in as strong favourite and rightly so given the combination of his current and course form. Kuchar, DJ, Bradley, Snedeker and Day all come in with strong showings at the US Open and it’s Bradley and Snedeker who particularly catch our eye.
Brendon De Jonge (50/1 Various)
The Zimbabwean was followed by a bit of controversy last week after being paired with Lowry and Stadler in the heavyweight 3-ball of the first two rounds. None the less, he managed to give a very respectable display and but for a 76 on the final day, things could have been a lot more fruitful!
He topped the driving accuracy statistics for the week finding 87.5% of them whilst he came 19th in GIR. He is renowned for his low scoring and it will more than likely be a low one to take home the title this week and De Jonge is not scared of getting on the birdie train. His putting is usually solid and ranks T8 in putts 15-20’ (where Duke excelled last year).
Freddie Jacobson (50/1 Various)
There was a bit of a clash in the boardroom over this decision as to whether Jacobson or De Jonge go into the week as our number one pick (a place that holds important recognition in the world of golf). We decided after a few deliberations that the Scandinavian would have to settle for this number two slot.
Freddie, as we all know, is a demon on the greens and you will always find him at the top of the putting charts. He ranks T8 in strokes gained-putting this year and also finds himself 14th scrambling which Ken Duke again excelled in last year. He also ranks 30th approaches 125-150yards, a key yardage we have highlighted. For a former champ here and someone playing solid stuff, this is a good bet!
Brandt Snedeker (35/1 Paddy Power)
Before we begin, the American did finish the US Open with a little niggle in his back/ribs and could be a doubt for this week. Even so, he still shot a 73! Health permitting, this is why we fancy him.
Snedeker’s start to 2014 has not been half as dominant as to what his 2013 was as it has been a tale of a few injuries and niggles. Last week’s T9 finish at Pinhurst saw him finish in the top 10 for only the 2nd time this year, the other being the Arnold Palmer. He found 67% of the fairways and was 23rd in GIR rankings for the week showing he was striking the ball well.
This is a tournament that has not yet brought him much success but the small greens and intelligence needed on the approach play will set up perfectly to a fully fit Snedeker.
Brian Davis (100/1 Various) Billy Hurley III (150/1 Various) Ted Potter Jnr (250/1 Coral)
All of these boys hit the ball straight as an arrow and the Englishman Davis even has a two top 10’s to his name around this course. Potter Jnr ranks 5th in scrambling and Hurley III 29th. They are both T23 in approaches 125-150yards and also rank in the top 30 for hole proximity.