This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
TPC River Highlands (6,841 yards, par-70)
$1,296,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner
Former high-school basketball star Gary Woodland found a way to out-athlete probably the most physically intimidating specimen on Tour this past weekend at the U.S. Open, as the former laid the smack down on Brooks Koepka and the rest of the field on the way to a three-shot victory to claim his first major title. The memories from Woodland's emotional Father's Day triumph will last a lifetime, but the PGA Tour is already back in action this Thursday in Cromwell, Connecticut for the Travelers Championship. TPC River Highlands has played host to the tournament since the mid-1980s and will welcome five of the Official World Golf Rankings' top-10 members this week, including the aforementioned Koepka. The early summer weather should be beautiful in the northeastern portion of the states after scattered showers move through during Round 1 and potentially Round 2.
Recent Past Champions
Key Stats to Victory
P4: 400-450 efficiency
TPC River Highlands is an extremely short layout by today's standards, but full-grown rough coats the outskirts of the fairways and slick greens are among the smallest we'll see all season on Tour. Yet, a bomber in Bubba Watson has won this event three times in the last decade, including last year when he won by three strokes despite hitting only 29 total fairways. The lefty ranked just T70 in driving accuracy, but he still managed to finish T7 in GIR percentage en route to playing the par-4s in a collective 11-under-par. Par-4 scoring is an important metric again this week, given the course's par-70 structure that features eight holes within the 400-450 yard range. Additionally, putting on these poa annua surfaces is emphasized even though petite greens normally level the playing field when it comes to flat-stick variance.
FanDuel Value Picks
Brooks Koepka, $12,600 - Just days after a 'meh, who cares' tie for 50th at the RBC Canadian Open, Koepka flipped the switch and was back in contention at a major championship. The World No. 1 carded just six total bogeys throughout his entire week at Pebble Beach, ultimately leading the field in both SG: T2G and GIR percentage en route to runner-up honors. There are really only two concerns with Koepka at TPC River Highlands; he doesn't love putting on poa and the Travelers is not a major.
Francesco Molinari, $11,000 - Much like Koepka, Molinari has endured struggles of his own on poa annua surfaces as the latter ranks just 146th among this week's field in SG: Putting on poa over his last 50 rounds. Nonetheless, Molinari should be content with a short TPC River Highlands tipping out at less than 6,900 yards while driving accuracy carries additional value. He led the field in SG: Around-the-Green at the U.S. Open and recorded a top-20 despite gathering a double bogey in each of his final three rounds.
Louis Oosthuizen, $10,400 - The always present possibility of a withdrawal from Oosty may somewhat limit his DFS exposure on a regular basis, but the South African is coming off a top-10 at Pebble Beach, and he's sixth in SG: Putting on poa over his last 12 rounds. For the season, Oosthuizen ranks seventh in SG: Around-the-Green, 21st in driving accuracy and 20th in proximity from 50-125 yards.
Bubba Watson, $10,200 - A three-time champion of this event since 2010, Watson should be a hot commodity based on course history alone at such a tame price despite finishes of MC-T63-MC in three starts from the PGA Championship to the U.S. Open. Despite those cringeworthy recent results, he still comes in at 36th in SG: T2G over his last 12 rounds.
Longer Shots Worth a Risk
Emiliano Grillo, $9,900 - The Argentinian could be much higher than 48th in the FedExCup standings if he had any semblance of a short game, making the cut in 17 of 18 starts this season but only capitalizing for two top-10s. Grillo ranks sixth in SG: Approach, 21st in GIR percentage and fourth in proximity from 150-175 yards.
Troy Merritt, $8,300 - Making the cut in three of his last four starts, Merritt is coming off a T17 at the Memorial Tournament where he gained an impressive 7.6 strokes on approach shots. He also gained over five strokes approach at both the AT&T Byron Nelson and RBC Heritage. Throughout his past 12 rounds, Merritt ranks eighth in proximity and 16th in SG: T2G. He also notched a T8 here at the Travelers in 2017.
Jonas Blixt, $7,900 - The Swede has now made the cut in three straight showings on the heels of back-to-back misses at the Wells Fargo and RBC Heritage. He posted a solo-fifth recently at the Charles Schwab Challenge and ranks ninth in P4: 400-450 scoring over his last 12 rounds. Blixt also leads the field in SG: Putting on poa during this span as well.
Cameron Tringale, $7,600 - Tringale owns three top-25s over his last four events dating to the Valero Texas Open, where he gained over five strokes from tee to green. Throughout his last 12 trips around the course, Tringale ranks 11th or better in SG: Approach, GIR percentage, par-breakers and proximity.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)
I made a discernible effort to include several dart throws in the sub-$8.5K range for those of you who are brave enough to anchor your lineups with Koepka at over $1,000 more than the second-most expensive option. A studs and duds approach is attainable, but this strategy could force too much ownership on a Koepka/Casey stack while the dumpster divers struggle to make the cut among a 156-man field.