PGA DFS Core Plays - DraftKings & FanDuel: Travelers Championship
Top-ranked DFS player, Notorious, breaks down his favorite PGA DFS plays at various salary ranges for the coming week’s golf tournament. Who should you be building around? Find out below.
I hope everyone had a great week at the U.S. Open. While there was carnage all over the place with a ton of chalk finishing at +4 on Friday, I was able to scrape out a profitable week of DFS and betting thanks to Matt Fitzpatrick. I was feeling good about my chances heading into Sunday with outrights on Fitzpatrick, Will Zalatoris, and Jon Rahm, but that confidence quickly faded after Scottie Scheffler got off to a blazing start. Thankfully, Fitzpatrick put on the best ball striking performance of anyone in the field on Sunday and hit every shot the course asked of him. He hit 17 of 18 greens and ended up beating Zalatoris and Scheffler by one stroke. I loved the course, I loved the leaderboard, and I loved the outcome. You can’t ask for more from the U.S. Open.
This week we stay in the Northeast, as the Travelers Championship takes place in Cromwell, Connecticut. TPC River Highlands has been a regular stop on the PGA Tour over the years, so we have plenty of data at our disposal. The course is a Par 70 that measures less than 6,900 yards. This is one of the shortest courses on the PGA Tour and we can expect plenty of good scoring, as we have a stacked field and very little wind in the forecast for the week. The course features two reachable par fives and a drivable par four that provides some drama on the back nine. There isn’t one specific skillset needed to contend here and we should see a nice mix of longer and shorter hitters at the top of the leaderboard.
I am always looking to improve my research routine, so I decided to do a deeper dive into the course analysis moving forward. I looked at 42 courses that have ShotLink data and that have been featured on the PGA Tour over the last two seasons. I compared a number of different stats, but most notably looked at the penalty for missing fairways and how strokes gained were distributed by each category at each course. When it comes to TPC River Highlands, the penalty for missing fairways was the fourth highest of those 42 courses. When it came to the strokes gained categories, approach and putting were easily the two most important. Strokes gained around the green had the fifth lowest importance of those 42 courses.
When we zoom out and look at the course, the data makes a lot of sense. Pete Dye always places an emphasis on the second shot and these fairways are tree-lined and feature tricky rough. You would think a course that has 38 yard fairways would be more of a bomber’s track, but that’s not the case here. Many will opt to club down on holes in order to keep it in the fairway. The greens here are small (5,000 square feet on average), but are fairly easy to hit (70% GIR). With everyone hitting greens and with the scrambling success rate being high, it makes sense that around the green play doesn’t matter as much as it does on most courses. My final note is that nearly 45% of approach shots hit here in the past have come from 125-175 yards, so I will be looking at proximity numbers from those ranges.
To simplify, I am looking for golfers that keep it in play off the tee, golfers that are precise with their irons, and golfers that can make putts on bent/poa greens.
- 156 golfers
- Top 65 and ties
Key Statistics for the Week
- Strokes Gained Approach
- Birdie or Better %
- Strokes Gained Putting (Emphasis on Bent/Poa)
- Total Driving
- Pete Dye Experience
Hole Yardage Specialists (based on holes at TPC River Highlands
- Justin Thomas
- Scottie Scheffler
- Patrick Cantlay
- Sam Burns
- Seamus Power