Travelers Championship 2015 Preview

Written by Matt Cee for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

Travelers Championship | Thursday 25 June - Sunday 28 June | TPC River Highlands

This week the PGA Tour heads to Connecticut for the Travelers Championship, a tournament that always draws a huge crowd and as usual promises to offer some exciting golf. Although River Highlands has undergone a number of changes over the years it has played host to this tournament since 1991. The par 70, 6 844 yard layout is not the most challenging around and after the struggle players faced last week at Chambers Bay, this will seem a walk in the park. On a layout like this scores are generally low and you can expect the winner to finish somewhere around the -15 mark. Interestingly, this is a tournament that seems to suit the outsiders. Sure, there have been a few big name winners over the years but recently it’s been a happy hunting ground for players who need to catch a break. This could be due to its proximity to a Major and the fact that the field is not quite what one would expect for a PGA event but be that as it may, there’s definitely some value to be found here.

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One of the reasons this tournament is so well attended has to be because the course is one of the most impressive on the Tour. The rolling fairways are lined with big trees and thick rough and the numerous lakes inspire a feeling of serenity, at least amongst the spectators. For the players they probably inspire fear and that, combined with the numerous bunkers that must be avoided, ensures that accuracy is important. The course is forgiving though so whilst accuracy is a stat to keep an eye on, the key to winning will be putting and making birdies. Overall this looks like it will be a great week of golf, keep a close eye on this one and try and find the value.



To Win Outright
Bubba Watson  12/1
Brandt Snedeker  14/1
Patrick Reed  16/1
Billy Horschel  18/1
Sergio Garcia  18/1

VALUE BETS
Mark Leishman (40/1 a win, 88/1 a place)
The Australian is one of the “lesser known” past winners mentioned in the introduction and I have a feeling that he might just come out this week and repeat the performance he put in in 2012, which saw him go -14 to win comfortably. He showed last year that that performance wasn’t a flash in the pan when he finished eleventh and with his game in a good place at the moment he should go close. A missed cut last week doesn’t create cause for alarm, Leishman should come out firing on Thursday. Each way looks the responsible bet here.

Brandt Snedeker (14/1 a win, 3/1 a place)
Brandt Snedeker blows hot and cold but he’s found some form at the moment and at this price and against this field he has to be backed. Sure, he went off the boil a few months ago but he’s back now and playing better golf than ever and with three Top 10s in his last three starts he’ll be itching to claim his second win of the season. I can see this being a tightly contested tournament and at the moment it looks like Snedeker has what it takes to edge out any competitors. I’m backing him to win this week.

Tony Finau (40/1 a win, 88/10 a place)
Tony Finau has been knocking on the door for a while now and he’ll be eager to tee off here in the hope that he, like many before him, stages an upset at River Highlands. Sure, he has to get through some pretty big names first but he’s got confidence in his game at the moment after a host of Top 15s, including one last week, and a Top 10 at the Memorial. This is a huge price and it won’t be around for long, get on each way while you can.

TOP BET
Louis Oosthuizen (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
On Saturday there weren’t many golf punters who would have backed Oosthuizen to be the top South African at the US Open but by some miracle he managed to birdie six of his last seven holes at Chambers Bay and finish ahead of Branden Grace in T2. After watching how he was hitting the ball all day on Sunday and considering he made those birdies on one of the toughest layouts players will deal with all year, I’m confident he’ll arrive here and make a ton of birdies on his way to winning. Let’s hope Louis avoids those pesky injuries which plagued him here last year because I have a feeling that if he does he’ll emerge victorious this week.

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