This week the PGA Tour bus rolls into the Hartford, Connecticut suburb of Cromwell for the Travelers Championship. Several top ten golfers will be competing for their personal slice of a 7,000,000 dollar pizza pie.
Before we delve deeper into the field of the Travelers Championship, I want to address the elephant in the room. Last week’s US Open at the infamous Shinnecock Hills wasn’t pretty in the slightest.
We saw Phil Mickelson chase down a missed and subsequently strike it while it was still moving. If I’m not mistaken, it was the great John Daly who last gave in to frustration and acted out in such a way.
World #1 Dustin Johnson hung around until the end, but it was the Florida State Seminole Brooks Koepka who was able to win his second US Open in as many years finishing 1 over par for the tournament.
We won’t see Dustin this week but Brooks will be teeing off on Thursday with the rest of the field.
Other notable competitors are Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jason Day, and last year’s winner Jordan Spieth.
Golfers should be thrilled to return to a more “normal difficult” if you will at the TPC River Highlands this week. The average winning score for the tourney in the last 4 years has been -16.
BetOnline has odds on the tournament winner, the leader at the end of the first round, and a top ten finish bet. Let’s jump into it!
First Round Leader Odds
- Brooks Koepka: +2200
- Justin Thomas: +2200
- Rory McIlroy: +2200
- Jordan Spieth: +2200
- Patrick Reed: +2500
- Jason Day: +2800
- Paul Casey: +2800
- Bryson DeChambeau: +3300
- Webb Simpson: +3300
- Bubba Watson: +4000
- Charley Hoffman: +4000
- Daniel Berger: +4000
- Marc Leishman: +4000
- Patrick Cantlay: +4000
- Beau Hossler: +6600
Last week was such a draining tournament for everyone, especially the winner. Brooks is feeling the hangover for sure as he has already withdrawn from the celebrity pro-am on Wednesday. We know he is good enough to start well, but more muscle needs more recovery and Brooks is as well built as any golfer on the tour.
Masters winner Patrick Reed finished 3 strokes back of Koepka at last week’s US Open and isn’t a bad play for the first round.
Looking at the season-long stats for first-round scoring, Beau Hossler has been at or near the top of this list for a while. I picked him once before to take the first round, and Henrik Stenson beat him out by a stroke.
I love the value with Hossler this week as he almost always starts fast.
Patrick Cantlay is another good play here as he ranks 5th with a first-round scoring average of 69.23.
Odds to Finish in the Top Ten
- Brooks Koepka: +125
- Justin Thomas: +125
- Rory McIlroy: +125
- Jordan Spieth: +150
- Patrick Reed: +150
- Jason Day: +175
- Paul Casey: +225
- Webb Simpson: +225
- Bryson DeChambeau: +250
- Marc Leishman: +250
- Bubba Watson: +275
- Daniel Berger: +275
- Patrick Cantlay: +300
- Beau Hossler: +700
- Chesson Hadley: +700
Jordan Spieth outdueled Daniel Berger in a playoff to win here a year ago, so I like both of these guys to perform well.
Patrick Reed, as I mentioned earlier is coming off a solid performance at Shinnecock Hills, and is also tied for 2nd on the Tour with 7 top ten finishes trailing only Dustin Johnson’s 8.
Leishman, Hadley, Thomas, Simpson, and DeChambeau all have 6 top tens each and Cantley has 5. I like all of these guys to keep up their solid play throughout this weekend.
If you want to double your payout, you can reach for the top-five bet, but it’s very risky.
If you’re really feeling froggy and want to make some good money, in your money spread you have to include “My best good friend” Bubba Watson.
With Phil Mickelson taking the week off to sit in the corner and think about what he did to that rolling golf ball, Bubba will be the only two-time course winner in the field. The oddsmakers aren’t showing the man as much love as he deserves.
Along with Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Paul Casey, Watson has 4 top ten finishes this year. As “quiet” as Bubba has been this year, he has 2 victories under his belt and has a competitive spirit that should drive him towards a clubhouse celebration on Sunday evening.
Shinnecock Hills is behind the golfers of the PGA Tour for at least a few years. Heck, it may be another decade again before we see that level of frustration and struggle from the world’s best.
This week’s Travelers Championship from Hartford, CT should bring the scoring averages of golfers back down a notch to a respectable level for the professional ranks.
There won’t be any Tiger sightings this week, and we definitely won’t get a glimpse of Lefty as Mickelson will be sitting back on his couch decompressing from a less than optimal performance last week when he lost his cool and struck a rolling ball.
Both Patricks Cantlay and Reed are good plays this week. I really like Cantlay in a first-round scoring bet and Reed to finish top ten, five, or even win.
Jordan barely edged out Berger last year, and Bubba Watson has won here twice.
Bet first and bet safe team, and enjoy all the birdies and eagles from the guys you missed seeing at last week’s Open.