The PGA Course Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the Fantasy Labs Trends Tool and metrics to highlight stats for the upcoming tournament.
With another Major Championship in the books, the PGA Tour will travel all the way across the country to Cromwell, Connecticut for the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands.
As always, I backtested various metrics in our PGA Models to find out those that have been the most valuable at TPC River Highlands. Per our Trends tool, here’s how the top 20% of golfers in various metrics have done at this course (in Plus/Minus valuation).
Historically, this course has yielded averages of 48.66 DraftKings points and a +0.88 Plus/Minus with a 47.5% Consistency Rating to the field.
I’m highlighting the metrics that tested with at least a +2.00 Plus/Minus relative to the baseline:
- Long-Term Par-4 Scoring: +5.64
- Recent Driving Accuracy: +5.34
- Long-Term Missed Cuts: +5.15
- Long-Term Par-5 Scoring: +4.86
- Recent Missed Cuts: +4.46
- Recent Birdies: +3.86
- Long-Term Greens In Regulation: +3.79
- Long-Term Birdies: +3.75
- Course Adjusted Round Score: +2.82
- Recent Adjusted Round Score: +2.67
- Long-Term Adjusted Round Score: +2.45
- Recent Driving Distance: +2.25
River Highlands is a rather short 6,841-yard, par-70 course. There are just two par 5s on this track, so it will be ideal if golfers can capitalize on those holes. That shouldn’t be too hard considering both par 5s have a birdie rate between 35-38%, which are two of the highest birdie rates on the course, per Fantasy National.
One key hole will be the 296-yard par 4 which has historically had a 2% eagle rate (second-highest on the course) and a 34.6% birdie rate, which trails only the two par 5s in birdie rate. It isn’t surprising that par-4 scoring backtested as the highest metric of them all since there are 14 par 4s here. Outside of the short par 4, the key distances to target for those holes will be between 400-450 yards since there are eight par 4s from such ranges.
I normally don’t pay attention to course history too strongly, but it’ll be worth considering to an extent since it tested +2.82 over the baseline Plus/Minus. One name that comes to mind is Bubba Watson, who won here twice, and Paul Casey, who has finished second, fifth, 17th and second in his last four appearances.
Additionally, per Data Golf’s historical event data, Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee at River Highlands has been slightly been more important than your average tour event. Historically, 17.9% of strokes gained have come via off-the-tee at this course, compared to 15.1% for an average tour event.
And per Fantasy National, golfers who finished inside the top 20 have averaged 1.09 Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking per round, which was roughly one-half stroke higher than Strokes Gained: Approach.
Key metrics to focus on: Par-4 and par-5 scoring, greens in regulation, birdie scoring, Strokes Gained: Ball Striking, Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee.
And as usual, I like Long-Term (LT) and Recent Adjusted Round Score (Adj Rd Score) as catch-all metrics.
Pictured above: Paul Casey
Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports