After all the fun and excitement at The US Open , it’s back to business as usual on the PGA Tour with the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut.
Before I continue with this weeks preview, we can’t go on without mentioning Fitzy’s impressive victory at the weekend in Brookline. I’m just so so happy for the still young and immensely talented 27 year old from Sheffield. I’ve been highlighting recently in my previews that Fitzy would win on the US stage anytime soon and that a major was also calling, well he certainly killed two birds with one stone there don’t you think, too finally get that monkey off his back?
He most certainly delivered in style. Fitzy’s victory at The County Club was not just his maiden breakthrough win on the PGA circuit but he also bagged his maiden major, the first of many I’m sure. I did mention the fact that with course knowledge and a winning track record on the Open Course, The US Open was all set up for the Englishman. Well done Matthew Fitzpatrick and well done also to everyone who followed our selection with a huge smile on their way to collect at an advised 30/1, happy days!
It’s the second major winner we have singled out this year, the other being Scottie Scheffler at 16/1 to win The Masters . Let’s hope we can keep up the good form and scoop up yet another winner at St Andrews in a few weeks for The 150th Open Championship.
In the meantime let’s get back to this weeks Travelers Championship and try find a likely winner there.
The 156 field, with the top 65 including ties making the cut , will all be competing for a share of the $8.3m prize purse with the winner collecting the title and a winner’s cheque for $1.3m.
TPC River Highlands will be playing 6,852 yards long this week. It’s a par 70, parkland track with galleries full of energetic and ecstatic fans to add an extra special atmosphere.
Harris English returns to defend his title, if you remember the play-off between English and Hickok in 2021 went on and on but it was English who finally prevailed on the eighth play-off hole.
The weather is forecast to be mainly sunny and warm with temperatures in the mid 30’s. Thursday's first round forecasts heavy showers. Breezes will peak at around 14mph on Sunday.
This event will be screened on Sky Sports Golf with live coverage starting on the red button at 11.45am on Thursday morning.
So let’s move on with this week's selections for the Travelers Chanpionship in Connecticut.
For my first and main selection at TPC River Highlands I’m going to point you in the direction of Xander Schauffele 20/1 EW Bet365.
The 28 year old from San Diego finished well at The US Open with 14th place and he’s definitely eyeing up another victory anytime soon.
The world's 15th top ranked player has four Top 20 finishes in his last four starts. His best finish this year was T3rd at the Phoenix Open with his most recent best performance being 5th place at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Schauffele hasn’t won an event since winning the Olympic Golf Medal in Japan but he does arrive here with a bag full of stats that flashed up all over my radar. On the PGA Tour this season Schauffele is ranked 7th SG. Tee To Green, 9th SG. Total, 9th Putting Average, 6th Birdie and best of all 2nd Sand Save Percentage.
Now the final stat mentioned could be the one that proves pivotal come Sunday evening with bunkers galore in play. With five PGA victories already in the bag I just have a feeling that Schauffele is going to put on a show soon and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was this weekend in Cromwell.
For my next selection I’m going to single out Sungjae Im 30/1 EW 1-8 places William Hill. I could have easily opted to include the talented 24 year old from South Korea as my main selection but I’m more than happy to keep things how they are.
Sungjae Im missed the cut amid very testing conditions in Brookline at last week's US Open but I’m willing to forget that effort, you could say that he and many more were unlucky with the tee time slots.
His previous attempt at the Memorial Tournament seen Sungjae finish inside the Top 10, exactly in 10th place, before that he was 15th at the Charles Schwab Challenge, 21st at the RBC Heritage and best of all , 8th at Augusta National for The Masters.
Sungjae Im has two PGA crowns already in the bag. He won the Shriners Children’s Open last year and The Honda Classic back in 2020. The South Korean ranks 2nd on the PGA Tour for par 4 performance and that could be a big clue right there. With more par 4s than normal to negotiate at TPC River Highlands, this course could be all set up for Im to use his wizardry precision on his way to make it a hat-trick of magical crowns.
For my next pick I’m going to strongly advise Sam Burns 20/1 EW SpreadEx.
Its been a while since I included the talented 25 year old kid from Louisiana but almost everytime I’ve tipped Sam Burns, he’s produced the goods for both us and him.
A very respectable 27th at The US Open last week will give Burns even more confidence after his most recent victory a few weeks back at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Sandwiched in between he was also 4th at the RBC Canadian Open so it’s clear for all to see that Sam Burns is found a rich vein of form.
To back that up his other victory this year was when he successfully defended his crown at the Valspar Championship to make it four PGA Titles since last year with a few more nearlys, maybes and could have beens.
I raved on about Sam Burns around this time last year saying he’d win his maiden PGA Title and many more anytime soon, he’s now since won four. The two mentioned above and last year he won both the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational and his maiden title, the Valspar Championship.
I just have a feeling that Sam Burns is all fired up for title number five and at number five in the rankings for Greens in Regulation, just as I said in last weeks US Open preview, the winner will be whoever produces good figures in this department and that could well be Sam Burns if he arrives on fire.
Aaron Wise v David Riley
For my final selection it’s the customary matchbet and for this weeks Nap I’m going to advise Aaron Wise to beat David Riley 10/11 Nap Betfair in the 72 hole matchbet.