The third major championship of 2023 did not disappoint as Wyndham Clark capped off an excellent Sunday with a U.S. Open victory. The season rolls along to Cromwell, Connecticut, where the 2023 Travelers Championship will be played at TPC River Highlands. This is another “designated event” with a $20 million prize pool.
TPC River Highlands is a 6,841-yard par-70 and has been a TOUR stop for 39 years. Home of the only 58 in TOUR history, it is possible to go extremely low at this Pete Dye design. However, TPC River Highlands does feature a difficult closing stretch, with holes 16 through 18 all historically averaging scores over par.
The Travelers Championship will play host to 156 golfers this week. Due to the designated status of the tournament, almost all of the best players will be teeing it up. The only notable exceptions this week are Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, and Sam Burns.
For GPP contests on DraftKings, I will be breaking down the key stats (past 24 rounds) and selecting golfers from different price tiers to provide flexibility for a DFS lineup.
And if you missed it, we added two new metrics in our models — Perfect% and SimLeverage. You can find an explainer on those metrics here.
The cliff notes version is that you can use SimLeverage to quickly find leverage plays in tournaments, while Perfect% is great for finding the best price-considered plays for cash games.
This analysis may reference Strokes Gained, a set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR using millions of data points to calculate how many shots, on average, it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation.
Strokes Gained is now available in the FantasyLabs PGA Models.
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Approach sits at the top spot in the stat model this week. The course is relatively short, and golfers with multiple skill sets can contend here. Iron play is often the great equalizer allowing the shorter hitters to compete, and that should be the case again this week.
- High-end target: Scottie Scheffler — $11,300 (1st in Strokes Gained: Approach)
- Mid-range target: Hideki Matsuyama— $8,600 (5th in Strokes Gained: Approach)
- Value target: Mark Hubbard— $6,900 (2nd in Strokes Gained: Approach)
Strokes Gained: Par 4
With only two par 5s on the course, the importance of par-4 scoring cannot be overstated. Whoever plays the par 4s most effectively this week will be in the driver’s seat.
- High-end target: Patrick Cantlay— $10,200 (8th Strokes Gained: Par 4)
- Mid-range target: Tommy Fleetwood— $9,300 (6th Strokes Gained: Par 4)
- Value target: Russell Henley— $7,800 (9th Strokes Gained: Par 4)
Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking
Ball-striking combines off-the-tee and approach and will be the stat I use to incorporate off-the-tee play this week. The over-emphasis on approach play will incorporate golfers who give themselves plenty of birdie looks in the event.
- High-end target: Patrick Cantlay 10,200 (3rd Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking)
- Mid-range target: Hideki Matsuyama— $8,600 (9th Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking)
- Value target: Byeong Hun An— $7,500 (12th Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking)
Course history has proven to be a significant factor at TPC River Highlands. With seven golfers with multiple wins at the course, familiarity could be the key at the Travelers Championship.
- High-end target: Patrick Cantlay— $10.200 (3rd Course History)
- Mid-range target: Jason Day— $8,400 (10th Course History)
- Value target: Chez Reavie— $7,100 (7th Course History)
Strokes Gained: Total Pete Dye Designs
TPC River Highlands is another prototypical Pete Dye track where many of the same golfers play well consistently.
- High-end target: Patrick Cantlay— $10,200 (4th Strokes Gained: Total Pete Dye Designs)
- Mid-range target: Sungjae Im— $8,700 (2nd Strokes Gained: Total Pete Dye Designs)
- Value target: Michael Thorbjornsen— $6,800— (15th Strokes Gained: Total Pete Dye Designs)