PGA Picks and Odds: Is Patrick Cantlay on the verge of winning at the Travelers Championship?

Payton Matthews | Updated Jun 19, 2024

PGA: U.S. Open - Final Round

After finishing T3 at last week's U.S. Open, Patrick Cantlay is riding positive momentum heading into the Travelers Championship.

Definitely a major step down in terms of PGA Tour course difficulty from last week’s U.S. Open to this week’s Travelers Championship from outside Hartford, Conn., but it’s a great field as the final Signature Event of the season with world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler favoured to win on the golf odds.

No tournament immediately following a major championship is going to be played on a tough course because none of the top players would show up – especially the week after the gruelling U.S. Open, which was won on Sunday by American Bryson DeChambeau at mega-challenging Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.

DeChambeau isn’t in the field this week because of course he’s on the LIV Tour. But other than the LIV guys, pretty much every big-name golfer is teeing it up in the best field the Travelers Championship likely has ever had with that $20 million Signature Event purse. In all, 44 of the top 50 in the current world golf rankings are playing.

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It’s definitely going to take into double-digits under par to win this week at The TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., a short par 70 at about 6,835 yards and hosting for the 41st straight year. Jim Furyk shot a record 58 here in 2016. There is no cut this week.

Last year, Keegan Bradley set a tournament-record score of 23-under 257 to win the event for the first time. The American shot 62-63-64 in the first three rounds and then played a bit more conservative in the final round in a 2-under 69 to break Kenny Perry’s previous mark of 258 from 2009.

Bradley had only made one bogey for the week before dropping three shots in his final six holes Sunday as he seemed to get a bit antsy to win a tournament he badly wanted to capture having ties to the greater area.

“This is for all the kids who grew up in New England and had to endure the winters and watch other people play golf,” Bradley said after as he became the first New Englander to win the title since Connecticut’s J.J. Henry in 2006.

That was Bradley’s sixth PGA Tour win, and he hasn’t yet added another. He is +5000 to repeat here, only done by Phil Mickelson in 2002.

Apparently TPC River Highlands was too easy as Rory McIlroy made comments about technology having rendered the layout obsolete. So there have been some changes, although the PGA Tour rules committee claimed it already had a list of “competitive enhancements” that it’d been planning for a while. The course has not been lengthened but some significant changes, or “competitive enhancements,” as the PGA Tour called them, have been made to six holes.

“We want the golf course to be a challenge no matter what yardage you drive the ball to,” said Gary Young, senior vice president of rules and competition for the PGA Tour. “So from the longest hitter to the shortest hitter, you’re looking at [whether] they are basically taking on the same risk for the same reward. Everything we did was, we don’t want to take it away entirely. But we want to make it even riskier for that guy who’s going to try. And that risk should be rewarded.”

We thought Brian Harman was good value in 2023 at +8700, and he finished co-runner-up with Zac Blair, three shots behind Bradley. Each champion of the Travelers since 2016 teed it up at the U.S. Open the week prior.

Travelers Championship Golf Odds

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is the +400 favourite but actually looked mortal at the U.S. Open with a T41 finish and enters here with five straight rounds of 71 or higher dating to his final round at the Memorial a few weeks ago that Scheffler won. He was a career-best T4 here last year.

Rory McIlroy (+750) was in great position to end his 10-year major championship drought on Sunday at the U.S. Open with a two-shot lead on the back-nine, but he missed short putts at Nos. 16 and 18 to finish a shot back of Bryson DeChambeau and left the course without talking to the media, which has drawn some criticism. Rory hasn’t won here and was T7 in 2023.

Xander Schauffele (+800), Collin Morikawa (+1200), Ludvig Aberg (+1600) and Viktor Hovland (+2000) round out the favourites. Schauffele finished T7 Sunday at the U.S. Open for his fourth straight Top 10 on the Tour this year. He won here in 2022 and was T19 last year. Morikawa missed the cut at the 2023 Travelers and was T14 Sunday at Pinehurst. Aberg was T24 here in his 2023 tournament debut, while Hovland comes off a disappointing missed cut at the U.S. Open and was T29 here last year.

No Canadian has won this event. Dave Barr was a co-runner-up in 1988 when he and Joey Sindelar lost in a playoff to Mark Brooks. Corey Conners was the top finisher last year at T9, while Taylor Pendrith and Adam Svensson missed the cut, and Mackenzie Hughes withdrew after a first-round 76. Conners is +3300 this week with Pendrith +10000, Adam Hadwin +12500, Hughes +15000, Svensson +20000 and Nick Taylor +20000.

Travelers Championship Golf Predictions

We like Patrick Cantlay at +2500 as he has not been worse than T15 at this event since 2019 but yet to win. Cantlay isn’t having a great year but was T3 at the U.S. Open.

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