Well what an amazing week that was. From bad putting surfaces to Fox sucking, from crazy comebacks to choke jobs, from someone winning a million to historic bad beats last weekend had it all and pretty much solidifies why DFS Golf is at the top of the list as far as excitement goes. The best thing about last week, in three weeks there’s another major and we get to do it all again…
On this week…
The Travelers is a much different event from the US Open played on a much different course with a much different field. There’s 156 golfers teeing it up this weekend and 70 or so will make the cut, but the quality of golf will likely be significantly decreased. However even with a weaker field this event features a course that tends to yield a lot of low scores and with smooth putting surfaces (just for you Billy Horschel) expect to see more putts fall. The Travelers is played at TPC River Highlands. This is a track that was partially redesigned by Pete Dye and plays as a par 70 at only about 6850 yards. It’s a short course and although there is only two par 5’s there is two very drivable par 4’s as well. The course has smaller than average greens and some tough holes guarded by water and tight tree lined fairways, but for the most part it’s very gettable. Expect lots of birdies to fall.
Par 4 scoring
Strokes gained: putting
The course this week means players will simply have to score to keep up. Unlike last week par isn’t necessarily a good score on every hole and being even after two days will mean an early trip home. Looking at Birdie average this week is a good place to start, as is par 4 scoring. Players will have to attack the par 4’s this week and those who have shown a propensity to score well on those holes should be given extra weight. Additionally, players who have putted well this week have tended to finish well at this event. Last year Kevin Streelman end up at or near the top of all putting categories and a hot flat stick will be important in securing a win this week.
Odds to win: 12-1
There’s a lot of things pointing in Bubba Watson’s direction this week. Even though he’s coming off an embarrassing missed cut at the US Open which included a full fledge tirade on the pace of play he should be well motivated this week to make up for it. Bubba loves this event and his record here is a reflection of that. This is the site of his first win and since 2008 he’s never missed a cut or finished outside of the top 40. Bubba is always good for a lot of birdies and eagles and this course allows him to put up those numbers consistently. I don’t think there’s enough difference in price this week between Bubba and the top players to fade him. I’m recommending him as a must play this week.
Odds to win: 12-1
Leishman may have let me and you down at the US Open but like Bubba he too loves this course and I am sure will be on the lookout for some redemption this week. The Travellers is also the site of Leishman’s first win on tour and a place where Leishman has always put up good results. Like Bubba, Leishman can use his length to take advantage of the short par 4’s. Before the US Open Leishman had really put together a strong string of results, including a 5th place at the Memorial. His slow start to the season has skewed his stats in some areas but his last 5 tourneys outside the US Open have all resulted in solid play. I like Leishman as a cash and gpp target. He’ll likely be low owned this week due to his increase in price.
Odds to win: 70-1
Don’t look now but after a fairly miserable season DeLaet might finally be getting his game back together and that could mean big things for fantasy. DeLaet’s now put together two top 30 performances and comes into this week well rested after missing out on the US Open. At his best DeLaet has always been one of the top par 4 performers (even if his stats this year say otherwise) and a birdie machine. He’s going to be able to take advantage of the shorter par 4’s here this week and I expect his good ball striking should continue here. DeLaet finished 3rd here two years ago and obviously has some fondness for the course. The only question is whether he can sink enough putts this week to get into contention. I think he can and should be a great fantasy play.
Odds to win: 12-1
This course and week should fit Russell Knox extremely well. He’s one of the best on the PGA in par 4 scoring and has a nice record on Pete Dye courses. Knox is one of the most accurate players on tour and should have no problems hitting the small greens at TPC River Highlands. Coming off a week of rest Knox has now strung together 3 quality results in a row (including an 8th place finish at the Fed Ex) and has not missed a cut on tour since late March. At this point it goes without saying that Knox is one of the most consistent players on tour and obviously a worthy cash game play. I expect him to be very highly owned so there’s obviously merit to fading him in gpp’s but he does have a 13th place finish at this event, so fading him isn’t without risk.
Odds to win: 12-1
Thomas is another great young player who, like Knox, is also priced extremely cheap given the weakness of the field. Coming off a week of rest you can likely expect that Thomas will be eager to get back at it and has likely been inspired by his good friend’s second major championship. Thomas ranks extremely high in overall birdie average on tour and should have no problem putting up low scores on this course this week. He’s played two Pete Dye courses already this year and come through with flying colours posting top 12 finishes at both events. There’s no need to overthink Thomas as a fantasy play this week, he offers good consistency and the opportunity for lots of bonus points on DraftKings. He’ll be highly owned but again will be a fade at your own peril type of play.
Odds to win: 150-1
Peterson was one of the hottest player’s in fantasy for a few weeks before he hit a brick wall at the Colonial where he failed to make the cut and burned half of the DFS community. Peterson’s issue at the Colonial however was mainly related to a hand injury and that seems to have healed. He is back in the field for the Travellers and apparently been practicing in full the past couple weeks. Peterson ranks highly in par 4 scoring and has some good results at Pete Dye courses like Hilton Head and TPC Louisiana. I Think he makes for a sneaky cash and gpp play given most people will be scared of using him again.
Odds to win: 150-1
Knost has really been on fire lately landing three top 12’s in his last 4 tournaments. He ranks inside the top 50 in both par 4 scoring and par 4 birdies or better average and should benefit more than anyone from the shortness of this course. At his best Knost is a precision player who relies on accurate approaches over pure power. He’s posted good results at some similar par 70 courses like TPC Four Seasons and Colonial. At his extremely cheap price tag this week he really looks like a great value play and someone who could pay off huge if he continues to show good form. He’s one of my favourite plays this week and great value on both sites.
Odds to win: 250-1
In a weak field you have to think outside the box a little when making selections and Chez Revie is certainly an outside the box play. Revie’s coming off a 12th place at the Fed Ex St Jude and should be well rested after failing to qualify for the US Open. Even though there are some strong plays at the low 6k range using Revie at his almost minimum price lets you create some monster teams. He seems to be in good form and has made his last two cuts at this event, one of which was an 11th place finish. If you makes the cut he’s more than paid off his price and anything above a top 50 gives you a real shot at some gpp cash. He’s a decent punt in a weak field this week.
Odds to win: 200-1
Michael Putnam is another name who let some people down last week as he was the “local guy” who was supposed to make the cut. Well he didn’t but I’d suggest looking back to him this week. Last year Putnam led this event for parts of it but faded. He’s probably not going to win this event but he showed strongly at this course and should have some momentum from his recent good play in US Open qualifying. I think he’s got more upside than people realize this week at a familiar and much more suitable course for his talents. I’d look to fire him up as a cheap 7th option in Victiv.
Fade: people who played the US Open… ok you can’t fade everyone but walking Chambers Bay for 4 days and then flying cross country isn’t that great a setup, be careful with some of last week’s heroes.
My Pick: Russell Knox… I think this week sets up as good as any for Knox. He’ll be fresh and has been playing lights out recently, I think he takes home his first title this weekend.