Welcome back everybody. Alex here, and I am back again with my DraftKings PGA Sleeper Picks for The 2017 Travelers Championship. Last week was an okay week for the picks at The U.S. Open. It was a very hard week to predict overall, so it was solid to see two of my three featured guys getting through the cut. Billy Horschel was horrendous from the start, but Lee Westwood (T55) and Shane Lowry (T46) had respectable showings. Now onto The Travelers. This week’s event is held at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. The par 70 is a shorter track (6,841 yards), that is known as one of the easiest courses the pros will play all season. Russell Knox is the defending champ, shooting -14 for the week, and was the 23rd player in the row to win this event shooting ten or more strokes under par.
A wide range of players have won this event, from the long Bubba Watson to the shorter Freddie Jacobsen over the last ten years. No matter your distance off the tee, I think you can compete here, if you score well, specifically on the par fours. As a par 70, there are only two par fives and 12 par fours on the course. The past three winners have lead the field in par four scoring and seven of the last ten winners have ranked T3 or better in par four scoring for their given week. To shoot low numbers, you need to consistently find the green on your approach, so I will also be looking at the usual stats of strokes gained approaching the green and greens in regulation percentage. Usually the tournament after a major is very weak field of players, but this time around we have a rather solid field in Connecticut, with Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, and Rory Mcllroy all competing. The Travelers might not be the most exciting tournament, but DraftKings pricing has made it a very interesting week for DFS golf. So good luck and as always, if any of these picks help your lineups or if you need any advice, just let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
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Webb Simpson: (6,900) He only has one high finish (T5 in 2013), but Simpson has been very steady here, making the cut in all seven times he has teed up at TPC River Highlands. The one concern in his game has always been his putting, but he has been a pretty solid on the greens at this course, averaging a decent 28.2 average putts per round. His game right now is also in good form, making five of his last six cuts, with three top 15 finishes. Outside of his bad putting ranking, which I am going to disregard with him on these greens he is familiar with, Simpson checks all the stats we need for this track.
For the year he ranks 24th in strokes gained tee to green, 11th in strokes gained approaching the green, 64th in GIR percentage (66.6%), 15th in par four scoring, and 82nd in birdie or better percentage. Not only does he have the course history and skill set, but he also has the best chance to win of all the players $7,000 and under on DraftKings this week, at 50/1. (via Bovada) He is an excellent value at only $6,900, and is a player I am very excited about using in both cash games and GPPs.
Adam Hadwin: (6,800) Even though Hadwin has never made the cut at TPC River Highlands, missing it the last two seasons, I think he is definitely worth a look at this very cheap price. There is no arguing it, the Canadian player is having the best year as a PGA pro, making 16/18 cuts and picking up his first career win at The Valspar. The end result wasn’t the best last week at Erin Hills (T60), but it was good to see him rebound, after missing the cut at The Memorial, which was his first missed cut in 15 straight starts. His course history doesn’t suggest it, but Hadwin’s stats this season set up nicely for this course.
In 2017, he ranks 48th in strokes gained tee to green, 24th in strokes gained approaching the green, 70th in GIR percentage (66.5%), 57th in par four scoring, and 52nd in birdie or better percentage. If he can get back to being the very strong approach player we have seen at times this season, I think there is a good chance we see Hadwin make it to the weekend this year. There are safer plays out there in this price range, but I think taking a risk with a talent like Hadwin at this low of a price makes a ton of sense in GPPs this week. (9-12% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
Chez Reavie: (6,900) Reavie has looked great in his last two tournaments, finishing T4 at The FedEx St. Jude Classic and T16 last week at The U.S. Open. In both of these starts, he was very dependable off tee and when approaching the green. At The U.S. Open he ranked T1 in fairways hit and 10th in GIR and, at The St. Jude, he was T3 in fairways hit and T4 in GIR. His stats for the season are also compelling as he ranks 75th in strokes gained tee to green, 40th in strokes gained approaching the green, 60th in GIR percentage (66.84%), 31st in par four scoring, and 80th in birdie or better percentage.
In addition to playing very well right lately, Reavie has also made the cut in The Travelers 5/6 times, with his only cut coming in his first appearance at the course back in 2008. If he can continue to play at this level, Reavie has top 15 upside, and is a very intriguing GPP play at his low expected ownership of 5-8%. (via Fantasy Labs)
Also Consider: Danny Lee, Trey Mullinax (2nd in GIR at Erin Hills), Charley Hoffman (may be highly owned), Keegan Bradley (6/6 in this event), Emiliano Grillo, William McGirt, Byeong-Hun An, Harris English, Wesley Bryan, and Nick Taylor.