Weekly Preview: Travelers Championship

Weekly Preview: Travelers Championship

This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.

Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands
Cromwell, CT

The PGA Tour heads to Connecticut as the Travelers Championship gets underway.

Speaking of travelers – and I know I said I wouldn't mention LIV again – but another big defection took place this morning in Brooks Koepka and I feel it's time to discuss. It's clear that LIV Golf is not going away anytime soon and perhaps I was a little hasty in dismissing it. With that said, the reason I did was personal in that I don't care how many guys defect, the concept is just not interesting to me. I'm not interested in small fields with no cuts, events with no history and players with little motivation to win because they've already received appearance fees well above anything they could make on the course. Will it succeed? It might, but I still think they need someone who is not only on top of his game, but someone who can be a face of the Tour. Koepka might still be at his best (recent results notwithstanding), but he's not particularly likable and doesn't seem to care about the game. This is the same guy that can't put in enough effort to care about any event outside the majors. How do you think he's going to perform at these LIV events? I realize that's not the point, the LIV Tour just wants the players to defect, they don't care how they perform, but for the fan, what exactly are you getting when

Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands
Cromwell, CT

The PGA Tour heads to Connecticut as the Travelers Championship gets underway.

Speaking of travelers – and I know I said I wouldn't mention LIV again – but another big defection took place this morning in Brooks Koepka and I feel it's time to discuss. It's clear that LIV Golf is not going away anytime soon and perhaps I was a little hasty in dismissing it. With that said, the reason I did was personal in that I don't care how many guys defect, the concept is just not interesting to me. I'm not interested in small fields with no cuts, events with no history and players with little motivation to win because they've already received appearance fees well above anything they could make on the course. Will it succeed? It might, but I still think they need someone who is not only on top of his game, but someone who can be a face of the Tour. Koepka might still be at his best (recent results notwithstanding), but he's not particularly likable and doesn't seem to care about the game. This is the same guy that can't put in enough effort to care about any event outside the majors. How do you think he's going to perform at these LIV events? I realize that's not the point, the LIV Tour just wants the players to defect, they don't care how they perform, but for the fan, what exactly are you getting when you tune into this? It looks like some guys wanting to win and others just showing up to fulfill an obligation. That's not entertaining to me. It might be for others, I guess.

All odds via golfodds.com as of 10:00 PM ET Tuesday.

LAST YEAR

Harris English shot a final-round 65 on his way to a playoff victory over Kramer Hickok.

FAVORITES

Rory McIlroy (10-1)

This is a tough one. McIlroy won his most recent non-major, and he again contended at the most recent major, but failed to win. His form is unquestioned, but I wonder about his state of mind entering this week. His track record here is good, but he's never finished inside the top-10. He should be among the favorites this week, but I'm not sure he should be the favorite, which he is currently. I'd tread carefully with McIlroy this week as he may not be entirely focused on this event.

Scottie Scheffler (12-1)

To put it simply, Scheffler is just a machine right now. We haven't seen anything like this since the days of Tiger. What's separating Scheffler from the rest is his performance both at majors and non-majors. Since his win at the Phoenix Open in February, his only missteps have been at events with terrible weather. In addition, he's given no indication that he takes the non-majors any less seriously than majors, in other words, he's a threat each and every week. His track record here isn't good, but c'mon, he's a completely different golfer now than the last time he was here.

Justin Thomas (12-1)

I picked JT this past week at the U.S. Open because I thought he could parlay his success at the PGA Championship into another major, but it wasn't to be. I'm not sure if it was more mental or physical for JT this past week, but nothing really worked. My hope is that the USGA setup wasn't to his liking, and he failed to contend for that reason. My fear is that he wasn't mentally ready to take consecutive majors. Whatever the case, he's not a great value this week because his track record here is not good, and we aren't sure where his head is right now.

THE NEXT TIER

Sam Burns (20-1)

Burns didn't make a serious run this past week at the U.S. Open, but he did hang around for much of the weekend. Burns is a threat to win any given week and the fact that he's yet to win a major, just makes him more dangerous at events like this. Burns' track record here is decent, but much like Scheffler, his track record isn't a major factor this week because his game has evolved so much over the past 12 months. At 20-1, Burns has enough value to make a play here.

Jordan Spieth (25-1)

Spieth doesn't appear to be in top form right now, but that hasn't always mattered that much. Spieth's only win this season came a week after missing the cut at the Masters. The Masters! He never plays poorly there, so the thought was his game was way off entering the RBC Heritage. Obviously not the case, so his ho-hum T37 this past week at the U.S. Open shouldn't scare you away this week. Spieth's overall track record here isn't great, but he did win this event in 2017.

Brooks Koepka (40-1)

I know, I was just bashing Koepka for his week-in, week-out performance on the PGA Tour and now I'm going to suggest him on a win ticket? Koepka has always been one of those guys that needs that extra motivation. He's said as much concerning the majors. He gets hyper-focused and suddenly he's at his best. He's going to get a lot of grief this week, which I think is going to make him angry and probably put him in that hyper-focused zone. The remaining question is then – does he have the game right now to pull it off? At 40-1, it's worth a shot, right?

LONG SHOTS

Marc Leishman (50-1)

Leishman is coming off a very quiet T14 (quiet in that I don't recall seeing a single shot of his this past week) and he's also got the track record here to suggest he might make a run at another victory. Leishman has three top-10s here in 11 starts, which includes a win in 2012.

Brian Harman (50-1)

Harman definitely has a feel for this course. He's made the cut in nine of 11 starts and he finished top-10 in four of those. His best was a solo third in 2015, but he's cracked the top-5 as recently as this past year when he finished T5. Harman played some good golf this past week at the U.S. Open, entering the weekend at -3 under, before sliding down the leaderboard on the weekend.

ONE-AND-DONE LEAGUES

Highly-owned Pick: Sam Burns - I'm assuming that most OAD players have either used McIlroy, JT and Scheffler or they are saving them for the final major of the season. In other words, Burns is more of a default pick in this spot. That's not to say that he's a poor selection though, I think he's a great pick this week as he's playing well right now, and he wasn't so close this past week that there'll be any lingering effects this week, like some others in the field.

Moderately-owned Pick: Brian Harman - We are in the stretch run right now and the week after a major is the time to find someone who you won't be using the remainder of the season, yet he still gives you a chance at a decent check. Harman will check a lot of boxes for OAD owners this week as he's generally reliable with a decent upside, especially on courses where he's played well in the past.

Lightly-owned Pick: Brooks Koepka - I doubt many OAD players are going to touch Koepka this week as there's bound to be a ton of unwanted attention on him and quite honestly, I'm not even certain he'll tee it up, but if he does, I think he'll be determined to quiet the critics with a win, even though that won't quiet anyone. Needless to say, Koepka provides a great opportunity to make up ground this week.

Buyer beware: Rory McIlroy - I think this is the week that McIlroy runs out of gas. He put so much into his win two weeks ago and you know he put a lot into the U.S. Open this past week and at some point, he's going to crash. I think this is the week as you can only run at a high rate for so long and with the Open Championship on the horizon, I expect McIlroy to check out a bit early this week and regroup for the final major of the season.

Last Week: Justin Thomas - T37 - $75,916

Season Total: $9,777,357

This Week: Brooks Koepka - If you've followed me over the past 20 years, you know I love the intangibles and spite can be a major motivator. The numbers aren't pointing to a great performance this week from Koepka, but we all know how well he can play when motivated. I am a little worried about the state of his game, but if he's focused, I think he can overcome. If he happens to withdraw this week, you know, because he'll be banned from the PGA Tour once he tees it up for the LIV, I'll put Brian Harman in here as my backup.

FANDUEL PICKS

Upper Range: Sam Burns ($11,500)
Middle Range: Brian Harman ($10,100)
Lower Range: Callum Tarren ($8,000)

SURVIVOR LEAGUES

Last Week: Justin Thomas - T37

Streak: 2

This Week: Brian Harman - Harman is my backup for the OAD, but he's my top pick in this format. Though I like Koepka's upside, there is a scenario where he just checks out on the PGA Tour altogether and doesn't even make the cut, which is why I need a safer option in this format. Enter Harman, who has only missed two cuts in 11 starts here.

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only Golf Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire Golf fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
Yahoo DFS Golf: FedEx St. Jude Championship Picks and Strategy
Yahoo DFS Golf: FedEx St. Jude Championship Picks and Strategy
Weekly Preview: FedEx St. Jude Championship
Weekly Preview: FedEx St. Jude Championship
FanDuel PGA: FedEx St. Jude Championship Picks and Strategy
FanDuel PGA: FedEx St. Jude Championship Picks and Strategy
2022 FedEx St. Jude Classic Betting: Picks, Odds, Predictions and Best Bets
2022 FedEx St. Jude Classic Betting: Picks, Odds, Predictions and Best Bets