Coverage Presented by the TriState PGA
This weeks PGA Tour stop takes us to TPC River Highlands in Cromwell Connecticut for the Travelers Championship. The defending champ Jordan Spieth is not only trying to come back from a disappointing US Open, but also from his general poor play in recent weeks. He will face some major competition as he will be joined by 7 of the top 10 players in FedEx Points just a week after the US Open.
River Highlands is one of the shortest tracks the players will play this year with a par of 70, it spans only 6841 yards. Although Jordan is not the longest hitter, a power has not been his issue.
Since joining the tour, his strongest attribute has been his putter and his ability to make the 15-20 foot putts with more frequency than the average player.
If you look at the current stats, he is averaging 1.77 per hole which sits him at 76th on the PGA Tour. If you dive deeper, it only looks even worse. If you have watched him recently…. his struggles on the green are real. It is very difficult to repeat on tour, but to do it when you are struggling with your putter is nearly impossible.
Jordan won on his first trip to the Travelers which was last year which makes him 1 of 5 players to do this. One of the reasons he was able to pull this off is because of an opening round 63. It was his lowest opening round total in 143 starts on tour.
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As for the rest of the field, Jordan will be joined by these players in the top 10 in FedEx Point Rankings: Justin Thomas (2), Jason Day (4), Bryson DeChambeau (5), Patrick Reed (6), Patton Kizzire (8), Webb Simpson (9), Bubba Watson (10).
Nearly all of these players have an opportunity to win this week because all of them are trending in the right direction.
On the other hand, a golfer that is not trending in the right direction is Rory McIllroy. Rory made a point of talking about how much golf he played the days prior to the Open, that were what he called “fun.” Looking back, although it may have helped his head prior to the US Open, it clearly did not help his game during the first two rounds.
He played with friends which made for more relaxed practice rounds. If Rory can right the ship, he has the game to win this tournament. Not to mention the fact that I am sure he would like to get his game in shape for the Open Championship coming up in the next few weeks.
With Brooks Koepka joining the event, it should set up for an exciting week. With the win last week, he jumped into the Fed EX top 15. Koepka tied for 9th in his last Travelers match which was 2016.
— TravelersChamp (@TravelersChamp) June 20, 2018
Zac Weiss @ZacharyMWeiss
This week, Zac has Patrick Reed, Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson and as his sleeper… Rory Sabbatini. Patrick Reed comes into the Tournament in good form, especially after the US Open Showing.
Bubba plays well in Connecticut, and although his game is not where it needs to be, his comfort with this TPC Course could be the difference.
Sabbatini comes in healthy finally which could be just what he needs to jump start his game.
Jason Havelka @DYSTPittsburgh
I also have Patrick Reed this week along with Bryson DeChambeau, Sam Saunders, and Webb Simpson. Nearly half of the recent winners at the Travelers were first time winners. Which is why I chose Sam Saunders to step up and contend.
Both DeChambeau and Simpson are real contenders this week. Simpson has been close recently and This could be an opportunity to grab a win.
As for my long shot, Drum roll please……………Jim Furyk. Jim has history on this course. He has played well recently not to mention a 3 good rounds at the US Open. This venue is also a shorter track which plays into his hands.
Here is your Tee Times for Thursday and Friday.