FantasyDraft Core Plays: 2017 Travelers Championship

First off, congrats to Brooks Koepka for winning his first major.  After the turn there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that anyone was catching him as he was striking the ball so well.  The DJ and Rahm fades turned out to be solid plays.  However, many other studs missed the cut as well. Oh what could’ve been if Casey and Fowler didn’t falter on the weekend.  On to the Travelers Championship.

This week takes us to TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.  The course comes in at 6,841 yards as a Par 70.  Wait, is that a typo?  Wasn’t Erin Hills 7,700 yards?  This seems like your local country club yardage.  Definitely one of the shorter courses on the PGA Tour, TPC River Highlands will create a fun birdie fest.  With only 2 par 5’s on the course, it will be important for the players to take advantage of the Par 4’s.  There is also a Par 4 coming in at 296 yards.  This should be fun watching players take their 3 woods out to reach the green.  The course went under a redesign back in the 80’s by none other than Pete Dye.  There are plenty of bunkers surrounding the greens so hitting the greens will be important.  There is also plenty of water on holes 15-17 that players will need to avoid.  The greens are played on bentgrass greens and are relatively easy.  This should help out the poor putters.

Past Winners

2016 Russell Knox
2015 Bubba Watson
2014 Kevin Streelman
2013 Ken Duke
2012 Marc Leishman
2011 Fredrik Jacobson

Weather

With the exception of a few storms, the weather looks to be okay as the wind will be low.  There doesn’t appear to be any advantage in any of the tee times.  However, this can change and we will be sure to keep you updated.

Capture

Key Statistics

SG: Tee to Green: Ball striking will be important this week.  With holes 15-17 having plenty of water, we want the golfers that are strong off the tee and dialed in on their approach shots to avoid any hazards.  We also mentioned the number of sand traps on this course. We want the players that will be dialed in on their approach shots.  Around the green play will be relevant to limit the big numbers posted from missed greens.

Par 4 Scoring: Both of the Par 5’s on course play under par so I don’t believe there is much advantage in targeting the Par 5 Scorers as most of the golfers should be able to post at least birdies here.  However, the Par 4’s are where we can gain an edge on the top golfers in this category.  These holes will be important to avoid any big numbers.  Several other of the Par 4’s play over par so we want to target the guys playing par or better on these holes to gain strokes on the rest of the field.

Birdie or Better %:  The winning score has posted at least 12 under par or better the last 5 years.  We want those birdie makers to pad the stats for our lineups rather than playing par golf.  The more scoring the better.

Greens in Regulation %:  With the hazards surrounding many of the greens, we want to hit as many greens as possible. This will limit the need for our players to scramble to save par.  The more greens our players hit, the less we have to sweat.

Core Plays

Brendan Steele ($15,700) – ALL HE DOES IS MAKE CUTS.  Steele has been in almost every cash lineup this year for me.  Steele should be a lock this week in both cash and GPP lineups.  Coming off a great U.S. Open, Steele ranks 6th in Par 4 Scoring, 14th in BoB%, and 19th in SG:T2G.

Byeong Hun An ($14,800) –  I wouldn’t look much into last weeks play.  The greens are relatively easy which should help him out as well.  We are looking for cut makers and I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t make the cut here and give himself a shot on moving day.  An ranks 15th in SG:T2G and 57th in Par 4 Scoring.

Tony Finau ($15,600) – My favorite risk/reward every week, especially on bentgrass greens, Finau will be sure to get your blood pressure going if you watch closely.  He can also shoot lights out when everything is going right.  Finau ranks 6th in SG:T2G and GIR%, 10th in BoB%, and 15th in Par 4 Scoring. Lock him in the lineups and don’t follow too closely.

Charley Hoffman ($15,500) – Hoffman has both course history and recent form in his favor.  He has made six straight cuts here recently to go with a top 10 at the U.S. Open last week.  Hoffman ranks 36th in SG:T2G, 34th in BoB%, and 40th in Par 4 Scoring.  This is a great price for Hoffman and can see him doing well again this year.

Also Consider: Paul Casey, Kyle Stanley, Marc Leishman

Lower-Priced Players

Here are the players below $14,000 that we are targeting to complete our lineups.  These players should compliment the studs this week:

Lucas Glover ($13,300) – I have been riding the Glove this year and it has paid dividends week to week. The stat machine is ranked 6th in Par 4 scoring, 7th in GIR%, 17th in SG:T2G and 51st in BoB%. With the flatter greens this week, I am less worried about Glover rolling the rock which is always his downfall.

Dirt McGirt ($13,300) – Dirt is having himself a year and I think this course sets up well for his game. He isn’t the longest hitter but he hits fairways and greens to give himself plenty of birdie opportunities. He is in the top 50 for Par 4 scoring and GIR%.

Also consider: Jamie Lovemark, Jim Herman, Martin Laird and Scott Piercy

 


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