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Travelers Championship Prediction, Tips and Odds: 25/1 Tony Finau backed at TPC River Highlands

The Travelers Championship is the eighth and final Signature Event on the PGA TOUR calendar and Mike Glasscott has seven players to follow.

Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship tips

To Win:

Top 10:

Top 20:

TPC River Highlands course guide

Since 1984, TPC River Highlands has provided the backdrop for the only annual PGA TOUR event contested in New England. Designed by Pete Dye and updated by Bobby Weed in 1989, the course underwent improvements before the 2016 edition and will have changes for 2024.

After being run over by Keegan Bradley last year, reaching 26-under-par with six holes to go before setting the tournament record at 23-under-par, the course has added features to crank up the difficulty.

The Par-5 holes, one on each nine, have added fescue-filled mounds off the fairway to challenge tee shots and approaches. Fairways have also been pinched in landing areas to reward more accurate tee shots. The tee box at No. 9 has shifted to bring the dog leg into play. The hole will play 17 yards shorter, and the square footage of the green has shrank.

On the back nine, Holes No. 11, 12, and 13 have toughened up to halt the scoring chances. The green at No. 11 has narrowed. The fairway at No. 12 now ends at 300 yards, forcing a decision. Like Hole No. 6 on the front, the Par-5 13th also has a narrowed fairway landing area and added mounds behind the bunkers to penalize wayward tee shots. The field of 156 players for the 2023 edition averaged 68.400, the easiest in history.

The last event with a winner posting single digits under par was in 1993.

Overlooking the Connecticut River, the parkland design plays up and down to only 6,835 yards. Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda is the only track on TOUR that is shorter.

The stock Par-70 features Bent/Poa mixed greens. Averaging just 5,000 square feet, only Pebble Beach and Harbour Town provide smaller targets on approach.

The return to Kentucky Bluegrass and Fescue rough at four inches and growing, plus water penalty areas on five holes, will provide different challenges than Pinehurst No. 2.

Jim Furyk set the PGA TOUR and course record of 58 in Round 4 of the 2016 event. He finished in a tie for fifth place.

Patrick Cantlay (2011), Mackenzie Hughes (2020), Denny McCarthy (2023), and Rickie Fowler (2023) have all posted rounds of 60. Cantlay also posted 61 last year.

Bradley bested Kenny Perry’s mark of 22-under-par 258 by a shot last year.

Travelers Championship preview

The Travelers Championship dates to 1952 and will be played for the 73rd time this week.

Four former champions are playing this week. Bradley, Schauffele, Harris English, and Jordan Spieth have all won one title.

The invitational field of 72 players includes 43 of the 50 in the Official World Golf rankings, led by No. 1 Scottie Scheffler. There is no cut in the eighth and final Signature Event.

There has not been an international winner since Russell Knox (not entered) in 2016. Nine of the last 10 winners have ranked in the top 10 in SG: Tee to Green and Par-4 Scoring Average.

Ken Duke, the winner in 2013, was the last first-time winner on TOUR, completing a streak of four consecutive first-time winners from 2010 through 2013.

Jordan Spieth, champion of 2017 in a playoff, is the last player to win on debut. He is also one of two players this century to go wire-to-wire.

Usually played in June, the 2016 event was moved to August to accommodate the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The winner will take home 700 FedExCup points plus $3.6 million from the $20 million purse.

Top of the Board

Scottie Scheffler (7/2): At least it is something new and different this week! The last time the Texan finished outside the top 25 (T41 at Pinehurst) was last summer at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in the first FedExCup Playoffs event. Cashing T31, he returned the following week at The BMW Championship outside Chicago and finished T2. Last week, the books claimed their revenge for the first time since January. Our reward is getting him at the same price if we choose to play. Finishing in a share of fourth place last year, the five-time winner this season posted his best result from four visits.

Xander Schauffele (7/1): In 14 events this season, the PGA Championship winner has taken home money in the top 10 in all but three events. The 2022 champion at TPC River Highlands has never finished outside T20 in four events where he has played the weekend. With top-10 finishes in the two events after winning his first major, he does not appear distracted or satisfied.

Collin Morikawa (11/1): Returning to the event where he made his professional debut in 2019, that edition is the only one from three where he played the weekend. He won’t have to worry about the weekend this year since it’s a no-cut event, and he can focus on continuing his excellent play since the Masters. I’d expect his iron game to recalibrate and for him to contend.

Ludvig Aberg (12/1): The first two steps in a tournament that requires a low number to win are finding fairways and pinning GIR. He sits in the top 15 in SG: Tee to Green and is familiar with the track. Making his second start as a professional here last year, he cashed T24 after three rounds in the 60s.

Viktor Hovland (18/1): The Norwegian is getting closer, but missing the cut with 78-68 last week still has me scratching my head. Inconsistent iron play leads to having to scramble, and that’s not his strength. After hitting just 19 of 36 GIR last week, I’d expect a turnaround in a parkland setting.

Patrick Cantlay (18/1): Converging trends! An excellent week on approach at Pinehurst produced his best U.S. Open finish (T3) and should translate to TPC River Highlands. Last year, he cashed T4, his sixth consecutive T15 or better, yet a first top-10.

Hideki Matsuyama (25/1): The Japanese star closed 64-65-66 on debut last year for T13. Entering the week off back-to-back top-10 paydays on two difficult courses, his excellent 2024 rolls on.

Tony Finau (25/1): Over the last four events, his trend is T18-T17-T8-T3. The next step is returning to the winner’s circle. TPC River Highlands has produced up-and-down results, but as well as he is currently hitting it, I’d be surprised if he finished outside the top 10.

Players to consider for Top 10 or Top 20 action

Brian Harman (35/1): The 2023 runner-up picked up his sixth top-10 payday from his last nine starts. He’s the course horse this week.

Corey Conners (35/1): Last year, 17-under BARELY returned top-10 money (T9). The Canadian has had an excellent late spring and will represent his country in Paris at the Summer Olympics. Cashing in 17 straight this season, his last three (T9-T20-T6) contain both of his top-10 paydays.

Keegan Bradley (50/1): The last two winners have posted T19 in defense. The home game for the Vermont native should produce another big finish.

Cameron Young (70/1): The Westchester, New York, native will have plenty of fans in Cromwell. A home game plus a birdie fest should fire him up.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (80/1): Sitting 13th SG: Total, he also makes plenty of birdies on Par-4 holes. Making his debut through the Aon Next 10, his form is what brought him to town.

Ben Griffin (100/1): The all-or-nothing results over his last six events explain the big number. Like Bezuidenhout, he’s an excellent putter and sits 10th in both Par-3 and Par-4 scoring.

Odds were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

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