The PGA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and other industry metrics to highlight notable golfers.
TPC River Highlands hosts the Travelers Championship and as the course name suggests, a literal river runs through it with water coming into play on five holes. In DFS years past — before Brooks Koepka won like 12 majors in the span of 14 days — players used to shy away from Brooks at water courses but that won’t be a decision you’ll have to make this week as Koepka has withdrawn from the tournament with news of his caddie testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.
It’s another short Pete Dye track with relatively easy to hit fairways, long rough, although unlike last week — this week we’ve got a bumpy Poa and bentgrass blend on the greens so looking at Poa putters may help you break some ties on those tough decisions. The DFS world is watering at the mouth to watch Bryson DeChambeau — currently projected around 20 % ownership in our models — drive every green with 400 yard bombs and be 27 under par after the first round. I’m very certain this will (not) happen.
The contenders will likely finish the week with solid ball-striking, especially approach numbers, and a really hot putter. With some recent data to use again, I’ll be focusing in on Recent Adjusted Round Score (Adj Rd Score) and Greens In Regulation — (GIR) both Long-Term (LT) and Recent to locate the players will likely be around until Sunday.With 12 of the 18 holes being Par-4s, it won’t hurt to look at the Par 4 scoring metrics this week.
Key metrics: GIR, LT and Recent Adj Rd Scores, LT and Recent Birdies, Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP) , and Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (SG: BS).
DFS Breakdown for 2020 Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands.
I used the key metrics mentioned above to quickly make a Fantasy Labs model and here are some if its top-rated players.
The aforementioned Bryson DeChambeau ($11,000 DraftKings; $11,700 FanDuel) is the model’s top-rated player. DeChambeau’s current 8.3% Odds to Win is tied atop the Labs model with the second and third rated players Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. DeChambeau’s 67.2 Recent Adj Rd Score and his 79.2% Recent GIR both rank as best in the feild this week and his 1.098 SG; Off The Tee (OTT) leads all players in 2020 per the data provided by the PGA Tour. Bryson has finished 8th and 9th here in the last two seasons.
Corey Conners ($7,500 DraftKings; $9,500 FanDuel) has shot 69 or better in six of his last eight rounds and his massive 20 Recent Adj Birdie Average in his last two tournaments. Conner’s 68.2 Recent Adj Rd Score is tied for eighth, his 78.5 Recent GIR percentage ranks third, and his has the best Recent Par 4 scoring number in the entire field this week. Conners’s .628 average SG: APP ranks 22nd this season on the PGA Tour. Conners missed the cut here in 2018.
Abraham Ancer ($9,000 DrafKings, $10,600 FanDuel) just couldn’t catch up to the en-fuego Webb Simpson coming down the stretch last weekend but a win seems to be lurking on the horizon for the Ancer’s 67.2 Recent Adj Rd Score and 79.1 percent Recent GIR tie him atop the rankings with DeChambeau this week and his 19.5 Recent Adj Birdie Avg is tied for 6th in the field among golfers with two starts in the last two weeks.
Other Model Plays: Justin Rose, Joaquin Niemann, Collin Morikawa, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Xander Schauffele
For these players, I created a model that heavily weights Course Adjusted Round Score and incorporates a little bit of LT GIRs and Adj Bird Avg.
Since 2015 at River highlands, Paul Casey ($8,900 DraftKings; $10,700 FanDuel) has finished as the runner-up twice, finished 5th twice, and had that horrific (kidding) 17th-place finish in 2016. Casey’s 67.5 Course Adj Rd Score is tops amongs anyone with more than one start at this track. Casey’s last start this season was way back in February at the WGC Mexico Championship where he finished 11th.
Bubba Watson ($8,800 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel) has won here in 2018, 2015, and 2010 so it’s safe to say he likes this place a good bit. He’s also sprinkled in a missed cut and a 54th place finish in two of his last three starts at River Highlands. Bubba’s 68.7 Course Adj Rd Score ranks sixth among players with at least two starts here.
Others: Kevin Tway, Ryan Moore, Jason Day
See Conners, Corey mentioned above.
Brian Harman finished 8th and 6th here in 2019 and 2018 and he’s coming off back to back top-30 finishes the past two weeks. Harman’s 68.4 Recent Adj Rd Score ranks 15th this week and he has the 12th-best (68.8) Course Adj Rd Score among players with more than one start at River Highlands. Both his Fanshare Sports’ Buzz Score and Sentiment Rating are high and we currently have him projected at 13-16 percent ownership in large-field GPPs.
Six of Mark Hubbard’s ($6,500 DraftKings; $7,800 FanDuel) last eight rounds have been 68 or better and his 69.1 Recent Adj Rd Score is a top-30 score in this week’s field. Hubbard finished 43rd here in 2017.
Harry Higgs ($6,400 DraftKings, $8,100 FanDuel) enjoys drinking Tito’s Vodka so he’s pretty much an auto-play for me. Higgs has quietly ripped off seven straight made cuts since January and his 69.3 Recent Adj Rd Score and 17 Recent Adj Bird Avg rank well in this field and he’s the highest-rated player under $7,000 in my DK model this week.
Others: Doc Redman, Matthew NeSmith, Jhonattan Vegas