Travelers Championship 2023
Midjourney's take on British gentleman in Connecticut style golf course.

Travelers Championship 2023

The Travelers Championship, one of the fan favourites for decades invites a stellar field to TPC River Highlands. Here's our preview, stats analysis and betting picks.

This time we have our lovely British assistant doing the research and writing a preview. Betting card and thoughts and our selections and open plays are shared early this week just to test out if the market fluctuates so that we get good prices for top20 market which performed really well last week.

Overall last week was a good one, but it was close to being a really great one. Fowler and Xander faded, Fleetwood and Morikawa gave too much lead to other guys before weekend and our live add Scottie was miserable (again with the putter). Congrats to members who sold some / all after 1st or 2nd round - +100% ROI was there for taking for almost two days.

Now onto to the elevated field with our British addition:

A Celebration of Golf's Unfettered Spirit

Strolling down memory lane, we hark back to the origins of the Travelers Championship, first christened as the Insurance City Open in 1952 and later known as the Greater Hartford Open. For over seven decades, this splendid event has been an integral part of the golfing world, notwithstanding minor shifts in its schedule to accommodate global events such as the Olympics and the odd disruption caused by the pandemic. Its traditional slot, the week following the US Open, has ensured its prominence on the annual golfing calendar.

This esteemed competition, held at the illustrious TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut, has consistently provided a platform for record-breaking performances. The tale of Patrick Cantlay setting the course record with a ten-under-par 60, which remains the lowest round shot by an amateur in a PGA Tour event, is indelibly etched in golfing lore. One cannot overlook Kevin Streelman's remarkable feat of birdieing the final seven holes to clinch victory, a first in PGA Tour history. Then, there was Jim Furyk's spectacular 58, the lowest score ever recorded on the PGA Tour, achieved right here at TPC River Highlands.

Jim Furyk shows how it's done in TPC.

TPC River Highlands - staged for drama

The stage for these riveting dramas is a gracious par-70, 6,852-yard course. Its modest dimensions, first sculpted by Robert J. Ross and Maurice Kearney in 1928, then masterfully reimagined by Pete Dye in 1982 and once more by Bobby Weed in 1989, belie its demanding nature. The venue's fairways and the slightly diminutive Poa Annua greens may appear accommodating, yet the consistently double-digit under-par scores are a testament to the golfer's skill, not simply the course's generosity.

The course, a petite beauty, does not lack in providing a compelling challenge. Ten holes under 450 yards measure a golfer's mettle with mid-irons within the 125-175 range. The 296-yard par-4 15th hole stands as a testament to the course's charming quirks, providing a tantalising risk-reward scenario. Despite its diminutive size, the course has consistently demonstrated an ability to test all classes of golfers, from the steady plodders to the audacious bombers.

The rough terrains at TPC River Highlands serve as the course's staunchest defence, placing an unwavering emphasis on hitting fairways. This course, over the past six years, has steadfastly remained amongst the top seven for strokes lost from off fairway. This, coupled with the tricky green complexes, necessitates a focus on ball striking, thereby rewarding those who can navigate the course with surgical precision.

Historically, experience on this course has proved to be a valuable asset at TPC River Highlands, with those intimately familiar with its nuances consistently finding themselves in contention. Moreover, recent results at the Travelers have emphasised the importance of proficient birdie-making, with low individual scores becoming a delightful norm at the tournament.

A key feature of this course is the 'Golden Triangle', a trio of holes (15, 16, and 17) that encircle a tranquil lake, creating an exquisite backdrop for the event's climactic finish. Among these, the short par-four 15th, despite being drivable, is far from a pushover with its tricky roll-offs and the lurking danger of water for those straying left. The subsequent par-three 16th and par-four 17th, with the omnipresent lake hazard, continue to uphold the challenge.

Takes from history

The tournament's history of winners is an eclectic mix of renowned and emerging talent. The recent roll of honour includes Xander Schauffele, Harris English, Dustin Johnson, Chez Reavie, Bubba Watson, and Jordan Spieth. One common thread tying these victors together is their exemplary performance on the greens, demonstrating the essential role of proficient putting at this event.

While it can be somewhat challenging to anticipate who might excel with the putter over the tournament's four days, previous years have given us some clues. Playing the par fours well, for instance, has been a consistent characteristic of past victors and contenders. In fact, the majority of winners since 2014 have outperformed the field on these holes.

While the field strength at the Travelers Championship has surged in recent years, it hasn't deterred outsiders, PGA Tour debutants, or seasoned veterans from etching their names on the tournament's trophy. The winners' roster is sprinkled with golfers who were once considered long shots. Veterans, too, have showcased their enduring talent here, suggesting that age and experience can compete against youthful vigour at this venue.

The final rounds of the Travelers Championship invariably bring high drama, with front runners often faltering and underdogs surprising the field. It isn't uncommon to see players trading at long odds-on only to be thwarted at the last hurdle. Even a healthy lead with one round to go is no guarantee of victory, as past tournaments have shown.

The winners' roster is sprinkled with golfers who were once considered long shots. Veterans, too, have showcased their enduring talent here, suggesting that age and experience can compete against youthful vigour at this venue.

Betting card and thoughts

This week has a different vibe this year, with the elevated field and odd placement just after major. And looking at the history and course of this competition, we might get some more surprising winners.

Our strategy this week is to do rather wide card with loads of (possible) top20s, top10s, matchups and several longshot winners. As we've done successfully last weeks, this week we'll let some selections float for the first or even second round to get the correct price. If you are able to watch live, you can have even longer odds on some occasions.

Last week showed us that the market movers chart is the nice way to gauge where the "whales" put their money since they really move the market and the market share winners ended up mostly playing a solid week. Because of time constraints we won't be able to offer that data this week, but will do it again in the near future.

To see our picks and model - sign in / get your "Green Jacket" as we like to say. We do not spam and work hard to bring well thought selections every week.

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Here is the card and preview of data for the week is in the Tools section.

Winners :
Xander Schauffele - 18.5 - 5.6 units
Tommy Fleetwood - 46 - 2.3 units
Russell Henley - 46 - 2.2 units
Denny Mccarthy - 130 - 0.8 units
Beau Hossler - 230 - 0.5 units
Will Gordon - 330 - 0.5 units

Note that we play with 300 unit bankroll and risk around 33% of it every week. Our lowest bet will always be 0.5 unit bet.
Top 10s (live and floating):
Patrick Cantlay - 2.56 - 3 units
Xander Schauffele - 2.86 - 3 units
Russell Henley - 5.3 - 1 unit
Si Woo Kim - 6.2 - 1 unit
Denny Mccarthy - 8.2 - 1 unit
Austin Eckroat - 11 - 0.5 unit
Beau Hossler - 12.5 - 0.5 unit
Andrew Putnam - 12 - 0.5 unit
Lee Hodges - 18 - 0.5 unit
Kevin Streelman - 22 - 0.5 unit
Top 20s (live and floating):
Patrick Cantlay - 1.8 - 3
Xander Schauffele - 2 - 3
Tommy Fleetwood - 2.82 - 2
Russell Henley - 2.96 - 2
Si Woo Kim - 3.2 - 2
Brian Harman - 4.5 - 1.5
Harris English - 5 - 1
Denny Mccarthy - 4.2 - 1.5
Austin Eckroat - 5.8 - 1
Aaron Rai - 4.7 - 1
Beau Hossler - 6.2 - 1
Andrew Putnam - 6.2 - 1
Stephan Jaeger - 6.2 - 1
Lee Hodges - 6.6 - 1
Mark Hubbard - 6.6 - 1
Will Gordon - 7.2 - 1
Joseph Bramlett - 7.2 - 1
Kevin Streelman - 7.8 - 1
Kramer Hickok - 14 - o.5
Andrew Novak - 15 - 0.5
Charley Hoffman - 12 - 0.5
H2Hs (updated later):
No H2Hs this week. Would aim to play the ones listed + the ones listed as potential shorts (lays) below.

Winner and top bets are placed in Betfair Exchange. Sign up here.

In addition to cards plays - we are also looking for potential places to short Justin Suh (top20 and cut), Cam Davis (top20 and cut) and Hideki Matsuyama (top20 and cut).

Good luck for the week!

Travelers - the home of drama