The Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands is set to host a highly competitive field of top players following the excitement of the U.S. Open. Known for its welcoming atmosphere, this tournament attracts golfers from around the world, making it a wide-open and thrilling event. The course's unique design by Pete Dye, stretching 6,800 yards as a par-70, offers opportunities for a diverse range of skillsets to shine.
When analyzing such courses that allow for multiple approaches, the field becomes wide open, and in daily fantasy sports (DFS), it becomes easier to identify undervalued players who can provide a strategic advantage. While statistics, course history, and recent form remain important factors, it is sometimes worth considering intangible elements that might not be easily measured. For instance, a young and motivated player seeking their first PGA TOUR victory may have had a week off for the U.S. Open, arriving in Connecticut with renewed energy and focus. Absence from the tour might have spared them from the toll of extensive travel, or perhaps they don't have domestic commitments, allowing them to fully dedicate themselves to the tournament.
Although defeating the world's best players is never an easy task, the midway point of the season presents an opportunity for some compelling DFS pivots to take advantage of this "elevated" occasion. Among the notable picks for the Travelers Championship, Collin Morikawa has emerged as a strong contender. Despite some recent struggles that led to him being placed on the "stay away" list, Morikawa's impressive performance at the U.S. Open, where he excelled in several key areas and showcased improved putting, has earned him redemption. While his track record at TPC River Highlands is not outstanding, his recent resurgence coupled with the possibility of being overlooked by the DFS community makes him an enticing selection.
Another player to watch is Sahith Theegala, a favorite for many due to his runner-up finish in 2022. Theegala has proven his ability to navigate the course effectively, and the physical demands following a major tournament are unlikely to deter this promising young golfer. While different skillsets have led to victory at TPC River Highlands, it is evident that distance provides an advantage everywhere. Players like Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson, who excel in this aspect, have each secured four wins at this venue. Theegala possesses the power off the tee, combined with strong iron play and a knack for birdies in bunches. Given the expected winning score of around -17.5, making birdies consistently is crucial. Although Theegala will not go unnoticed in DFS circles, the U.S. Open reminded us that having some popular choices in our lineups can be advantageous.
Russell Henley is another intriguing option, as he has been consistently underpriced by DraftKings for several weeks. His unassuming T-14 finish at the U.S. Open, coupled with his overall strong play throughout the 2023 season, makes him an excellent value pick. Henley has a proven track record at TPC River Highlands, with multiple cuts made and top-20 finishes in recent years. His proficiency in approach shots and overall game align well with the demands of this course, making him an attractive DFS choice.
Si Woo Kim also stands out as a player worth considering. He showcased improved form in recent weeks, nearly gaining strokes across all aspects of his game for the second consecutive tournament. Although he missed the cut at the Travelers Championship in the past two years, it is worth noting that his poor form during those times contributed to his struggles. In 2020, he managed an impressive T-11 finish despite losing strokes on