Travelers Task Not Too Big For DeLaet
With course experience necessary for a win, Graham DeLaet at 66/1 makes large appeal for the Travelers Championship at River Highlands.
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, the latest being Marc Leishman in 2012.
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
Patrick Reed’s top-twenty finish at the US Open was his best performance in a Major to date, but the bare result doesn’t tell the whole story, and having been in contention as joint-leader going into the weekend, his third-round 76 was, if you’ll pardon the pun, a major disappointment. The experience could inspire him to bounce back this week, or it may take a few more days to get over, but at odds of 14/1, I’m not keen to pay to find out and on balance, he’s a player to avoid.
There were no dramatic highs or lows for Bubba Watson last week, as he returned from five weeks off to miss the cut at Chambers Bay, but that means he should still be fresh for River Highlands, where his record speaks for itself. He won there in 2010, finished second in 2012 (a week after missing the cut at the US Open) and made the top five again last year. He’s a solid favourite and worth backing at 12/1.
Brandt Snedeker didn’t build on his welcome victory at Pebble Beach back in February, but after missing the cut at the Players Championship he has returned to his best, racking up three consecutive top tens, including his eighth at the US Open last week. His last visit to Connecticut produced his best result in this tournament to date and in his current form, he’s a decent bet at 16/1.
The final name to add to your shortlist is Graham DeLaet. His season hasn’t been anything to write home about, but it has picked up the last month with two top-twenty five finishes.
His form going into this week looks similar to 2013 when he went on to lead after three rounds at River Highlands.
He is a long shot, but he obviously has the ability to play his best golf on the course and is worth a look at 66/1.
*Prices correct at time of publication