Vincenzi's Travelers Championship Picks: Cantlay, Sungjae Among 5 Course Fits

Vincenzi’s Travelers Championship Picks: Cantlay, Sungjae Among 5 Course Fits

Click arrow to expand 2022 Travelers Championship odds via BetMGM

2022 Travelers Championship Odds

Golfer Odds
Rory McIlroy +1000
Scottie Scheffler +1000
Justin Thomas +1200
Patrick Cantlay +1600
Sam Burns +1800
Xander Schauffele +2000
Jordan Spieth +2500
Joaquin Niemann +2800
Sungjae Im +2800
Keegan Bradley +3300
Tony Finau +3300
Aaron Wise +4000
Brooks Koepka +4000
Davis Riley +4000
Mito Pereira +4000
Tommy Fleetwood +4000
Brendan Steele +5000
Brian Harman +5000
Marc Leishman +5000
Seamus Power +5000
Webb Simpson +5000
Harold Varner III +5000
Brendon Todd +6600
Denny McCarthy +6600
Jason Day +6600
Christiaan Bezuidenhout +6600
Keith Mitchell +6600
Cameron Tringale +8000
Jason Kokrak +8000
Joel Dahmen +8000
Maverick McNealy +8000
Si Woo Kim +8000
Aaron Rai +10000
Harris English +10000
K.H. Lee +10000
Kevin Kisner +10000
Adam Long +12500
Alex Smalley +12500
C.T. Pan +12500
Cam Davis +12500
Doug Ghim +12500
Jhonattan Vegas +12500
Kevin Streelman +12500
Luke List +12500
Mackenzie Hughes +12500
Russell Knox +12500
Sahith Theegala +12500
Tom Hoge +12500
Anirban Lahiri +15000
Cameron Champ +15000
Charles Howell III +15000
Chez Reavie +15000
David Lipsky +15000
Emiliano Grillo +15000
Erik van Rooyen +15000
Hank Lebioda +15000
James Hahn +15000
Lanto Griffin +15000
Lucas Glover +15000
Matthew NeSmith +15000
Nick Hardy +15000
Rickie Fowler +15000
Ryan Palmer +15000
Sepp Straka +15000
Dylan Frittelli +15000
Adam Schenk +20000
Adam Svensson +20000
Andrew Putnam +20000
Austin Smotherman +20000
Danny Willett +20000
Garrick Higgo +20000
J.J. Spaun +20000
J.T. Poston +20000
John Huh +20000
Matthew Wolff +20000
Scott Stallings +20000
Stewart Cink +20000
Troy Merritt +20000
Wyndham Clark +20000
Zach Johnson +20000
Brandt Snedeker +25000
Brice Garnett +25000
Callum Tarren +25000
Carlos Ortiz +25000
Chad Ramey +25000
Charley Hoffman +25000
Danny Lee +25000
Greyson Sigg +25000
Joseph Bramlett +25000
Kelly Kraft +25000
Kramer Hickok +25000
Martin Laird +25000
Matt Wallace +25000
Matthias Schwab +25000
Nate Lashley +25000
Patton Kizzire +25000
Rory Sabbatini +25000
Scott Piercy +25000
Stephan Jaeger +25000
Tyler Duncan +25000
Austin Cook +30000
Christopher Gotterup +30000
Doc Redman +30000
Hayden Buckley +30000
Justin Lower +30000
Lee Hodges +30000
Vince Whaley +30000
Brandon Wu +35000
Brian Stuard +35000
Taylor Moore +35000
Ben Kohles +40000
Bill Haas +40000
Harry Higgs +40000
Henrik Norlander +40000
Kiradech Aphibarnrat +40000
Luke Donald +40000
Michael Gligic +40000
Peter Malnati +40000
Robert Streb +40000
Trey Mullinax +40000
Andrew Landry +50000
Andrew Novak +50000
Brandon Hagy +50000
David Skinns +50000
Dylan Wu +50000
Jared Wolfe +50000
Kevin Tway +50000
Max McGreevy +50000
Nick Watney +50000
Paul Barjon +50000
Richy Werenski +50000
Ryan Brehm +50000
Sam Ryder +50000
Scott Gutschewski +50000
Sung Kang +50000
Jim Herman +60000
Seth Reeves +60000
Benjamin James +75000
Chesson Hadley +75000
Cole Hammer +75000
Curtis Thompson +75000
Dawie van der Walt +75000
Martin Trainer +75000
Morgan Hoffmann +75000
William McGirt +75000
Brett Drewitt +75000
Joshua Creel +75000
Patrick Flavin +75000
Bo Hoag +75000
Conrad Shindler +75000
Ben Silverman +75000
Adam D’Amario +100000

The PGA TOUR’s third major championship did not disappoint as Matt Fitzpatrick capped off an excellent Sunday with a U.S. Open victory. The season rolls along to Cromwell, Connecticut, where the 2022 Travelers Championship will be played at TPC River Highlands. Last year, we saw one of the most captivating thrillers in history when Harris English defeated Kramer Hickok in an eight-hole playoff.

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 16-18 all historically averaging scores over par.

The Travelers Championship will play host to 156 golfers this week. Some notable players in the field include No. 1 player in the world Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Sam Burns, and Xander Schauffele.

Past Winners at The Travelers Championship

  • 2021: Harris English (-13)
  • 2020: Dustin Johnson (-19)
  • 2019: Chez Reavie (-17)
  • 2018: Bubba Watson (-17)
  • 2017: Jordan Spieth (-12)
  • 2016: Russell Knox (-14)

5 Key Stats For TPC River Highlands

Let’s take a look at five key metrics for TPC River Highlands to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.

1. 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 types of skill sets compete here. Iron play is often the great equalizer allowing the shorter hitters to compete, and that should be the case again this week.

SG: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Sam Burns (+25.7) (+1800)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+23.8) (+1200)
  3. Harold Varner III (+22.5) (+6000)
  4. Xander Schauffele (+23.3) (+2200)
  5. Aaron Wise (+21.0) (+5500)

2. Strokes Gained: Par 4

With only two par 5s on the course, the importance of par-4 scoring cannot be understated. Whoever plays the par 4s most effectively this week will put himself in the driver’s seat.

Strokes Gained: Par 4 Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Rory McIlroy (+46.2) (+1000) 
  2. Justin Thomas (+37.5) (+1200)
  3. Jordan Spieth (+36.7) (+2500)
  4. Tony Finau (+32.3) (+3300)
  5. Brian Harman (+31.8) (+5000)

3. 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.

SG: Ball Striking past 24 rounds:

  1. Brendan Steele (+41.1) (+6000)
  2. Rory McIlroy (+39.5) (+1000)
  3. Mito Pereira (+38.4) (+5000)
  4. Will Zalatoris (+38.1) (+2800)
  5. Jordan Spieth (+37.4) (+2500)

4. Course History

Course history has proven to be a major factor at TPC River Highlands. With seven golfers who have multiple wins at the course, familiarity could be the key at the Travelers Championship.

Strokes Gained: Total at TPC River Highlands per round over Past 36 Rounds:

  1. Charley Hoffman (+1.6) (+30000)
  2. Brian Harman (+1.5) (+5000)
  3. Brendan Steele (+1.4) (+6000)
  4. Marc Leishman (+1.4) (+5500)
  5. Jason Day (+1.3) (+7000)

5. Strokes Gained: Total Pete Dye Designs

TPC River Highlands is another prototypical Pete Dye track where many of the same golfers play well consistently.

SG: Pete Dye Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Patrick Cantlay (+37.4) (+1600)
  2. Si Woo Kim (+36.8) (+7000)
  3. Brian Harman (+36.5) (+5000)
  4. Sungjae Im (+34.4) (+3500)
  5. Harold Varner III (+32.0) (+6000)

The Travelers Championship Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the six key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: Approach (27.5%), SG: Par 4 (20.8%), SG: BS (22%), Course History (14.9%), and SG: Pete Dye (14.9%).

  1. Rory McIlroy (+1000)
  2. Sam Burns (+1800)
  3. Justin Thomas (+1200)
  4. Brendan Steele (+6000)
  5. Keegan Bradley (+3000)
  6. Scottie Scheffler (+1200)
  7. Harold Varner III (+6000)
  8. Jordan Spieth (+2500)
  9. Will Zalatoris (+2800)
  10. Tony Finau (+3300)

2022 Travelers Championship Best Bets

Patrick Cantlay (+1600, WynnBet)

Patrick Cantlay is everything I want in a golfer at TPC River Highlands. He has a solid overall game and can get hot enough to win tournaments with his putter. In the past, we’ve seen golfers get it done at The Travelers by doing a little bit of everything. In his past four starts at the course, Cantlay hasn’t finished worse than 15th.

Perhaps the most glaring identifier of a potential Cantlay victory is his success on Pete Dye designs. The 30-year-old ranks first in Strokes Gained: Total on Pete Dye designs. His team win earlier in the year at the Zurich Classic was also a Pete Dye design in TPC Louisiana.

If you exclude the major championships, which Cantlay has struggled in for the most part through this point in his career, he has been knocking at the door for a win. He finished second at the RBC Heritage (also a Pete Dye design) and third at the Memorial Tournament prior to his 14th at the U.S. Open.

Cantlay famously shot a 60 as an amateur at TPC River Highlands in 2011. He’s a birdie-maker who should enter the week under the radar and motivated to win another PGA TOUR event.

Sungjae Im (+3300, PointsBet)

Sungjae Im is another golfer who’s played some great golf on Pete Dye tracks. He ranks fourth in his past 24 rounds in Strokes Gained: Total on Pete Dye designs.

Prior to the U.S. Open, the South Korean was playing his best golf of the 2022 season. He finished 21st, 15th, and 10th consecutively and gained an average of 8.7 strokes from tee to green per event in those three starts. He missed the cut on the number (+4), which doesn’t concern me in regard to his overall current form.

Throughout his career, Im has played a lot of his best golf on short par-70 courses. In his past 50 rounds, he ranks fourth in Strokes Gained: Total on courses that fit that description. On this shorter track, Im should give himself plenty of birdie looks considering he is playing from the fairway quite often. Throughout his career, he gains an average of 2.8 strokes on the field in Fairways Gained.

To win the Travelers, it will be important to get hot with the putter. Each of the past three winners of the event have gained at least 4.0 strokes putting on the field. Over the past three seasons, Im has gained more than 4.0 strokes putting in eighteen measured events. If he gets the flatstick working at TPC River Highlands, he has the all-around game to finish the job on Sunday.

Marc Leishman (+5500, WynnBet)

TPC River Highlands is one of the handful of stops on TOUR where course history seems to be incredibly important. Among the players in the field this week, few have better course history than Marc Leishman. Since winning the event in 2012, the Australian has two additional top-10 finishes, including a third-place finish in last year’s edition.

It hasn’t been the most consistent of seasons for the 38-year-old, but he flashed some form last week at The Country Club in the U.S. Open. He finished in a tie for 14th place and gained 4.4 strokes on approach, which was the most he’s gained in an event since September of 2021.

When Leishman gets in trouble on the course, it tends to be due to his propensity to get a bit inaccurate with the driver. TPC River Highlands provides some opportunities to get away with errant drives, and, because it’s the shortest course on TOUR, it allows for golfers to club down with an iron off the tee.

It’s possible that the strong performance last week was an outlier, but Leishman is a golfer who offers true win equity at a strong price.

Seamus Power (+5000, BetMGM)

Seamus Power had an excellent showing at the U.S. Open, finishing in 12th place. In the past, we’ve seen golfers parlay a strong performance at the U.S. Open into a Travelers Championship victory. Power fits the mold in the fact that he exceeded expectations last week and now heads to a course that should be much more manageable for his skill set.

The strokes gained statistics don’t tell the whole story in terms of how well the Irishman has played at Pete Dye tracks. In the WGC-Dell Match Play earlier this year, Power advanced all the way to the quarterfinals when he finally lost 3&2 to the eventual champion and best player in the world Scottie Scheffler. The event was held at Austin Country Club, which is a Pete Dye design that requires creative shot making similar to TPC River Highlands.

Another Pete Dye course that doesn’t show up in the strokes gained metrics is TPC Louisiana, which hosts the Zurich Classic. Although it is a team event, Power finished in a tie for fifth at the event in 2019 while playing with Curtis Luck.

Power has three top-17 finishes in his past four starts, and TPC River Highlands should be a better fit for him than any course he’s played in that stretch.

Brendon Todd (+10000, bet365)

Brendon Todd has historically been one of the best putters on the PGA TOUR, and he’s started to show it once again in his past few starts. The three-time TOUR winner has gained an average of 5.5 strokes putting on the field in his past two starts. In those events, Todd finished in third place (Charles Schwab Challenge) and 13th (RBC Canadian Open).

Todd has also been hitting his irons very well, which is a great sign for his chances to contend this week. He’s gained strokes on approach in five of his past six starts and had his best iron week of the season in his most recent start in Canada (+3.8 SG).  He’s also excellent around the greens which will be helpful at TPC River Highlands because its greens are a good deal smaller than TOUR average.

Todd was close to victory here in 2020, when he was the 54-hole leader. Unfortunately, he made a mess on the par-4 12th hole and eventually lost to Dustin Johnson. That experience should prove to be useful if he gets in the hunt once again this week.

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