This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Course: TPC River Highlands (6,841 yards, par 70)
Winner: $1,332,000 and 500 FedExCup points
In recent years, the Travelers Championship has grown into one of the more popular regular stops on the PGA Tour. 2020 has taken it to a new level. With many players wanting to get back into the swing of things after three months off, it is the third straight tournament featuring its highest strength of field rating ever. Nine of the top-10 in the OWGR will be teeing it up at the TPC River Highlands, which features one of the most exciting closing stretches in all of golf. It's also one of the shortest courses on the PGA Tour, which brings nearly every player in the field into play. That is why we often see very crowded leaderboards late on Sunday here. Temperatures for the week should approach 90 degrees all four days. Winds should not be up enough to have a huge impact, but we could see some storms roll in on the weekend that should soften the course even more. One thing we might have to keep our eye on is the rough, which is up from what the players have seen each of the last two weeks and should keep scores from breaching 20-under-par.
Key Stats to Victory
While it tips at just 6,841 yards, TPC River Highlands is nowhere near as tight as Harbour Town was last week. This will still allow for the bombers to be aggressive with their lines off tees, but four-inch rough will make them pay a bit of a price coming into these small greens. Iron play will be the main separator, as it is most weeks. This is the type of course where you need to maximize your birdie opportunities to win and those high in SG: Approach and GIR percentage will be doing just that. This will be a shift from the bermuda grasses players saw last week at Harbour Town, so how they transition to bentgrass and poa annua will be something to keep an eye on. Rain early in the week and the potential on the weekend might keep the greens running a tick slower than prepared.
FanDuel Value Picks
Patrick Cantlay ($11,300)
Cantlay will be playing his first tournament since the restart in Cromwell, where he has finished inside the top 15 each of the last two seasons. The UCLA product has developed himself into one of the best ball strikers in the world. This season he ranks fourth in SG: Approach, sixth in SG: Tee-to-green, and second in GIR percentage. Cantlay is also fourth in birdie percentage and hasn't finished worse than T17 in any of his last four official PGA Tour starts.
Paul Casey ($10,700)
TPC River Highlands is one of Casey's best courses on Tour. In five starts, he has a pair of second place finishes, a pair of fifth place finishes, and a T17. Casey's scoring average in those 20 rounds is 67.1. He was rolling nicely before the hiatus, with top-25's in six of his previous nine starts worldwide. Casey ranks top-20 this season in SG: Off-the-tee, SG: Approach, and SG: Tee-to-green.
Collin Morikawa ($10,500)
Morikawa falls down in price this week after his T64 at the RBC Heritage, so take advantage of it. The former Cal standout is already showing that he is one of the best iron players in the game. This season Morikawa ranks third in SG: Approach and eighth in SG: Tee-to-green. He made his professional debut at TPC River Highlands last year and finished T36 despite a third-round 75. Morikawa is still yet to miss a cut since coming out on the PGA Tour.
Sungjae Im ($10,400)
He missed the cut last week at RBC Heritage, so that should move his ownership down a bit this week. You will have to pile up the birdies at TPC River Highlands and nobody has more par-breakers than Im since he came out on Tour. The 22-year-old is so balanced all the way through the bag. He ranks 17th in SG: Off-the-tee, 23rd in proximity, 12th in sand-saves, and 27th in putts per round. Im is also 13th in SG: Total and 10th in overall scoring average. He finished T21 here last year.
Longer Shots with Value
Joaquin Niemann ($9,800)
Niemann came up just shy last week of his second win of the season despite a cold putter. The Chilean ranked fourth in SG: Approach, third in SG: Tee-to-green, and T3 in GIR's at Hilton Head. On the season Niemann ranks 16th in SG: Approach, 21s in SG: Tee-to-green, and 18th in GIR percentage. It's not often these days you see really strong ball striking numbers associated with someone that has as low of a ball flight as Niemann's. He has already taken to TPC River Highlands with rounds of 69-65-69-66 here last year to finish T5.
Corey Conners ($9,500)
TPC River Highlands is a ball striker's course and there's few that make that part of the game look easier than Conners. He ranks 14th in SG: Off-the-tee, 22nd in SG: Approach, and third in GIR percentage this season. Conners has done well since the restart with a T19 at Colonial followed by a T21 last week at Harbour Town. His putting is always a question mark, but his floor is extremely high because of that elite iron play.
Joel Dahmen ($9,400)
Dahmen was rolling before the hiatus, with finishes of T14-T5-T5. He didn't skip a beat in his return with a T19 at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Last week he was within one shot going into the final round before a disappointing 75 on Sunday that dropped him into a T48. His ball striking this season has been really impressive, as he ranks 15th in SG: Approach, 10th in SG: Tee-to-green, and ninth in proximity. Dahmen is also a solid 37th in scrambling and 25th in putts per round.
Stewart Cink ($7,900)
The 47-year-old has an extremely good record at TPC River Highlands. He owns two wins, two runner-ups, and two other top-10's. Cink has nine top-25 finishes in 16 career starts in Cromwell. He also has only missed one cut in nine starts this season. Cink has always been a good iron player and he is still showing more than capable with those clubs, ranking 32nd in both SG: Approach and proximity this season.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
As you can tell by all of the players highlighted here, I'm going all-in on ball striking, and in particular those that hit it close to the hole consistently. Go through the list of players who have played well at this course in the past, and you'll notice strong ball striking seems to be the common theme. I'm also going to stay away from some of the top priced options in order to try to maximize my selections in the $9,000-$10,500 range, which is absolutely stacked this week.