Welcome to the 2011 Travelers Championship. Following the 2nd major of the season, and a great win by Rory McIlroy, the Tour heads to Connecticut this week. TPC River Highlands will be the host venue for the PGA Professionals, and should provide plenty of excitement. Lets look a little closer into this short but entertaining golf course.
TPC River Highlands is the 3rd shortest course the players play on Tour measuring only 6841 yards. The course plays to a Par 70 but the average scoring was still under par last year at this championship. The course attempts to utilize its lack of fairways and plenty of bunkers (119) to help defend against the talented golfers that will be attacking it. I will have to side with the golfers taking advantage of the golf course and going extremely low this year though.
With rain expected in the forecast it should make for very soft greens, enabling the players to not only read the large undulations better, but also spin the ball. Look for a score around –16 to win the championship this year.
My favorite hole on the golf course is the Par 4 15th Hole. At only 296 yards the hole can be reached by just about everyone in the field. You will see most people go for the green if it is not a windy day. Look for scores to range from eagles to double bogeys on this very compelling hole.
12 players who have won on Tour will be teeing it up this week in Connecticut for the Travelers Championship. A plethora of young talent will be congregating, as many of the Tours top players are taking the week off following the US Open. That being said, we have past champions such as Bubba Watson (2010) and Hunter Mahan (2007) who will be joining the likes of Zach Johnson, Nick Watney, Jim Furyk and many other talented players.
Last year Bubba Watson won in a 3-person playoff against Scott Verplank and Corey Pavin. With the diversity in styles between Watson and Pavin you should understand why any type of golfer could win this week. So to pick a winner we are going with past success and currently hot putters.
STEVES SIX PACK
Bubba Watson 20/1 – Bubba won this tournament last year and has finished in the Top 14 the last 3 times he has played this event. Look for him to bounce back from an up and down US Open and once again play this tournament for his father.
Brandt Snedeker 26/1 – Easily one of the best putters on Tour and a guy who’s game sets up perfectly for TPC River Highland. I look for Brandt to go extremely low one of the days and be in contention on Sunday.
Bo Van Pelt 32/1– Bo has just been playing very solid golf for the last month. He had a T14 finish at the United States Open and has played very well in the past at the Travelers Championship (2 top 10’s in last 4 starts at TPC River Highland).
Fredrik Jacobson 46/1 – Really enjoyed watching Fredrik putt at the United States Open. He seemed to two-putt from even the longest distances, and was extremely solid on the putts within 5 feet. Look for Fredrik to maneuver around the greens this week to an excellent finish.
Padraig Harrington 50/1 – Harrington is someone I feel will actually get a boost from the performance Rory put on last week. He played well at the United States Open and should be able to carry his hot play over to the easy course in Connecticut.
Ben Curtis 80/1 – A very interesting long shot. Ben is the type of player who very well could forget there is a tournament this week and finish near the bottom of the leader board. The reason that won’t happen this week is because he absolutely loves the Travelers championship and has played very well here in the past. Another idea is to pick him to finish in the Top 5 or 10.
Hope you enjoy the picks and the golf. Be sure to sign up for the head to head picks as we are sitting at 53-32 for the year.