Travelers Championship – Back Bubba To Win Big
Travelers Championship 2014
Can 2010 winner of this event, Bubba Watson, add the 2014 Travelers Championship to an already incredible season?
Previously known as the Greater Hartford Open, this tournament has moved around the calendar, but has been played in late June, the week after the US Open since 2007. It is the second most attended event on the PGA Tour, after the Phoenix Open. Since it was first played, in 1952, it has been won by golfers from outside the United States on just five occasions, including 2011 and last year.
TPC at River Highlands, Connecticut, is a relatively short course by PGA standards, but big hitters have done well there in the last decade. The greens are raised like upturned saucers and are smaller than average, so players need pinpoint accuracy in their approach play, and both strong scrambling skills and consistent putting are important. It’s a quirky venue, so course experience is important.
In The Bunker
Matt Kuchar put in another solid effort to finish twelfth at the US Open last week, but his final round 73 was disappointing and I think there is evidence that he’s entering a mini-form slump. After a run of four consecutive top five finishes, concluding with victory at the RBC Heritage, he has only made the top ten once in his last five, and at odds of 12/1 he’s too short to back with confidence this week.
Bubba Watson missed the cut at US Open last week, but he’s not a player whose performances follow a neat upward or downward curve, and if you consider the season as a whole he’s in the form of his life, having secured six top three finishes since the start of December. He won this tournament in 2010 and two years ago, finished second just days after missing the cut at the US Open. Back him to go one better this year at odds of 10/1.
Dustin Johnson took a break after the Masters and has slowly been feeling his way back into form since. An opening round of 65 at Colonial was a good sign, then he put in three solid rounds at the St Jude Classic before finishing fourth at the US Open. His stats are impressive and he goes into this tournament with plenty of confidence after Pinehurst, so is well worth sticking with at odds of 14/1.
The last name to add to your shortlist is Graham DeLaet. Like Johnson, he missed the cut last week, but was in solid form prior to that, having made the top ten at the Byron Nelson and the top fifteen at Colonial. Having failed to make an impact in this event in his previous visits, the Canadian stormed into the lead after three rounds at River Highlands last year, before finishing third. At 33/1 he offers excellent value this week.