For the first time in months, a PGA Tour event will go off when it was originally scheduled to with a field of 156 at this week’s Travelers Championship, and Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas are co-favoured on the golf odds.
This will be the first tournament to start on its original date since the March 12 Players Championship – that lasted one round before golf was shut down due to the coronavirus. The Travelers Championship caught a major break in one regard. The field would have been hugely watered-down under normal circumstances as this was to have been the week after the gruelling U.S. Open. However, that was shifted from last week to Sept. 17-20 due to COVID-19.
Thus, there’s an usually strong field playing at TPC River Highlands outside of Hartford, Connecticut. It’s a short par 70 at 6,841 yards and one of the easier tracks on the Tour – again, because organizers didn’t want a tough challenge the week after the U.S. Open.
The PGA Tour record single-round score of 58 was shot in this event by Jim Furyk in the final round of the 2016 tournament, and he didn’t even win (Russell Knox did). Furyk had 10 birdies and an eagle. The 72-hole event record is 258 by Kenny Perry in 2009. This tournament began in 1952.
Travelers Championship Betting Odds
McIlroy and Thomas are both priced +1100 to win. McIlroy had been the favourite in the previous two events since the PGA Tour’s return from the coronavirus and finished 41st and 32nd. He last played this tournament in 2018 and was 12th. Thomas, meanwhile, has been Top 10 in both tournaments since the restart. He has a best result of third at this event.
Webb Simpson won the RBC Heritage on Sunday in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, shooting a 7-under 64 to edge Abraham Ancer by a shot. Simpson’s 22-under 264 total broke by two shots the tournament record Brian Gay set in 2009. Simpson is +1800 this week. He last played this tournament in 2018 and missed the cut. Ancer is +3400. He was eighth last year.
The defending champion is Chez Reavie. He had a six-shot lead after 54 holes and would be pushed a bit on Sunday before winning by four strokes at 17 under. It was Reavie’s first PGA Tour victory since 2008 at the Canadian Open. He hasn’t won since and is +9800 to repeat. The only player to win this event back-to-back was Phil Mickelson in 2001-02. Lefty is +12800 this time. He took last week off.
A Canadian has yet to win this tournament, but Dave Barr lost in three-man playoff in 1998 that would be won by Mark Brooks. Last year, Mackenzie Hughes (+30900) was T51 at 2 under. He finished 70th in South Carolina on Sunday. Corey Conners (+6900) finished T21 at the RBC Heritage and last played this event in 2018, missing the cut. Roger Sloan (+100000) missed the cut here last year and over the weekend in Hilton Head. The top-ranked Canadian, Adam Hadwin, is taking this week off.
Travelers Championship Golf Predictions
Take three-time tournament champion Bubba Watson and Bryson DeChambeau for Top 10s. The winner at +2800 is Paul Casey. He has four Top 5s (two seconds) at this event in his past five trips but yet to win.