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JAYALGER’S

PREVIEW AND PICKS FOR THE TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP 2017

Last Week Results

Golfer Position DK Pts Avg % Own DK
P.Casey 26 73.50 16.27
M.Leishman T27 61.50 14.32
J.Spieth T35 54.00 12.18
K.Kisner T58 43.50 23.95
A.Scott MC 30.00 34.51
D.Johnson MC 20.50 15.53


Last weeks US Open was a roller coaster of surprises from the top three golfers in the world (Johnson, Day and McIlroy) missing the cut, Justin Thomas shooting a record low in U.S. Open history 63 in round three, to a mixed leaderboard of golfers including a remarkable amateur in the name of Cameron Champ. But in the end, it was Brooks Koepka who hit 88% of fairways (4th for the tournament) and 86% of greens in regulation (1st), putted liked crazy on Sunday and was lights out the best with his approach shot gaining almost 8 ½ strokes on the field. He finished at -16 which ties McIlroy’s record low score in a U.S, Open.

As for my picks, Casey was my best pick of the lot. He started off hot in rounds 1 and 2 shooting a 66 and 71, respectively. He lost steam over the week as the fescue got the best of him finishing the tournament at -2 good for a solo 26th. Leishman, Spieth and Kisner all struggled at some point during the weekend and failed to make any push up the leaderboard falling to -1, +1 and +8, respectively. Scott and DJ were amongst the casualties that didn’t make the cut. Despite 4 of 6 picks making the cut, I was still able to have a positive ROI on DK and FD using golfers like Fowler, Kuchar, Wiesberger and Thomas in my cash games. Well, time to move on to the next course.

The Course

We now move to the east coast to play the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, CT. River Highlands is a par-70, 6841 yard course which had a complete redesign in 1982 by Pete Dye followed by another redesign in 1989 by Bobby Weed. The fairways are lined by majestic rows of maple, oak, sycamore and white pine trees. The course is Bentgrass from tee to green and bluegrass fescue rough. The fairways are fairly easy to hit as well the greens in regulation despite having smaller greens (avg. 5500 sq.ft.) that are also fairly slow on the stimpmeter (10-11 rating).

The hole breakdown is as follows:

Par 3 4
Par 4 <400 2
Par 4 400-450 8
Par 4 450-500 2
Par 4 >500 0
Par 5 2
Total 18

Holes 15 through 17 are the most notable stretch on this course as it plays around a four-acre lake. Hole 15 is a short 296-yard, par 4 with high risk, high reward with water to the left and sand on the right. 11 of the 33 eagles that were shot last year were obtained on hole 15. Hole 16 is a 171-yard, par 3 over the lake onto a narrow green. Depending on the pin location, it can be a difficult hole as it has a lot of slope to it. Hole 17 is a 420-yard, par 4 which played as the 3rd most difficult hole last year. The lake covers the entire right side and difficult fairway bunkers line the left side of the fairway. Golfer’s approach shot must traverse water the entire way or find the bottom of the lake. Otherwise, both hole 15 and 17 enjoyed a birdie rate greater than 35% with hole 15 playing as the easiest hole on the course last year while hole 17 playing as the 3rd most difficult.

My Picks

The field will consist of a mix 156 players with a standard cut of the top 70 (plus ties). The field is headlined by McIlroy, Day and Spieth. Otherwise, there are only 6 of the top 20 OWGR present. Winners here are in the double digits ranging from -12 to -20 since 2009. Therefore, this should be a birdie fest, so BB% (P4 BB% may be even more important this week). The cut has ranged from E to -4 since 2009. The course is a well balanced mix of long and short holes. There are four par 3s and two par5s. Of the remaining 12 holes, 8 of the par 4s measure between 400-450 yards. Thus, par 4 scoring as well as par 4 efficiency 400-450 will be key. Proximity will be also be important this week. T2G and BB%, as usual, is important every week.

Paul Casey (DK $9700, FD $9400, FDR $16500) - There are only 4 golfers above 10k on DK this week, and although, I do like Justin Thomas, this week I’m going to start with Paul Casey. Yes, his salary has bumped up, but his stats fits this course well (6th P4, 26th P4 BB%, 13th T2G, 16th P4 400-450, and 3rd SGAPP). He’s in excellent form making 5 of 5 cuts in 12 weeks with nothing worse than a 26th (26, T10, T22, T12, 6). He’s played the Traveler’s twice and finished T17 and 2. A solid cash play with upside for your GPPs.

Marc Leishman - (DK $9300, FD$83000, FDR $15900) - Another solid option is Marc Leishman. He is has been a consistent all around golfer this year and is in great form making 6 of 7 cuts in the last 12 weeks (T27, T15, T34, T13, MC, T44, T43). He has not missed a cut at River Highlands in 6 tries included a win in 2012. He has great all-around stats to complement the course (21st P4, 30th P4 BB%, 23rd T2G, 28th P4 400-450 and 53rd SGAPP). He may not have as much upside as Casey based on his stats but does offer you consistency for your cash lineups.

Tony Finau (DK$8700, FD $8400, FDR $15600) - Next up is Tony Finau. Finau has played here twice in a row and has finished T25 each time. He is in good form making 5 of 6 cuts in the last 12 weeks (T40, T29, T13, MC, T3, T34). He’s got enough stats to do well here (15th P4, 21st P4 BB%, 6th T2G, 8th P4 400-450 and 25th SGAPP). He should make the cut again this year without difficulty.

Kyle Stanley (DK $8600, FD $7000, FDR $15300) - If Stanley was playing in the U.S. Open I would have gone overboard with him. He doesn’t have the greatest course history only making 3 of 7 cuts since 2009 with the best finish of T19, but he has been playing some of his best golf in years this season and has made 5 of 6 cuts in the last 12 weeks. His stats line up well this week (15th P4, 28th P4 BB%, 5th T2G, 37th P4 400-450, and 5th SGAPP). He should do well here.

Charley Hoffman (DK $7300, FD $8300, FDR $15500) - Hoffman has been grinding it out really well in the last 12 weeks make 8 of 9 cuts including a solo 8th at the U.S. Open last week. He is a course horse for the Traveler’s making 6 of 6 cuts with a best T2 in 2012. He is 40th P4, 41st P4 BB%, 36th T2G, 61st P4 400-450 and 71st SGAPP. He should not disappoint this week and be another solid cash option to make the cut.

Hitting an Albatross (DK salary < 7k and < 5% ownership). Webb Simpson (DK $6900, FD $7900, FDR $14600) - I think I’ve seen enough from Webb to jump on the bandwagon this week and why not. He is another course horse making 6 of 6 cuts (T34, T5, T29, T13, T57, T26). He hasn’t missed a cut in 6 weeks making 4 of 4 cuts (T35, T67, 5, T16). He can score on par 4s (15th P4, 57th P4 BB%, 37th P4 400-450), and gain strokes T2G and approaching the green (24th and 11th, respectively). That is all you will need from Webb to get through the cut and then some.

Anyway, I hope that this helps you in your own process to select your golfers for this week. Please leave me any questions, comments, suggestions or any rants and touts you would like to discuss either here on DFSChat.com, on twitter @algertorr, or on DK/FD/FDR jayalger. Good luck this week!