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FanDuel Strategy

FanDuel Fit: Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands

by Josh Culp
Updated On: June 22, 2021, 3:06 pm ET

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The PGA TOUR heads to Cromwell, Connecticut, for this week's Travelers Championship. 

Played the week after a major, it will naturally have a more laid-back vibe, but there is still a lot of cash (and FedExCup Points) up for grabs, so players won't be taking this event lightly. 

When filling out our FanDuel rosters, it's important to find some good plays toward the bottom of the salary board. This allows us to load up on some star power at the top. 

To hunt for some of that value, we will dive into some course-fit angles and see what we find. 

For this week's course, TPC River Highlands, we know it's a short course at less than 6,900 yards and we know it has bentgrass and poa annua putting surfaces. That blend of cool-season grasses is very common for any golfer that grew up in one of the Northern states. 

 

Bent/Poa Greens

We just mentioned the grass being a key factor to look at this week but here are some quotes from golfers talking about the turf at TPC River Highlands. 

"I’m from the Pacific Northwest, and the grass and the greens are very similar to this, so it kind of always has a little feel of what I grew up on, which I think that just adds a certain amount of comfort." -Ryan Moore in 2014

"These are probably the purest Poa Annua greens I’ve ever been on late in the day today. They really held themselves nicely, so that’s obviously great surfaces make for happy golfers." -Jordan Spieth in 2018

Let's see who has gained the most strokes per round on courses with bent/poa greens, over the last two years: 

Patrick Cantlay
Patrick Reed
Dustin Johnson
Bryson DeChambeau
Tony Finau
Paul Casey
Adam Scott
Abraham Ancer
Brian Harman
Russell Henley
Scottie Scheffler
Joaquin Niemann
Cameron Smith
Harris English
Ian Poulter

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Michael Kim
Henrik Norlander
Kevin Tway
Robby Shelton
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Russell Henley
Chez Reavie
Scott Harrington
Nick Watney
Adam Schenk
Sam Burns
Tom Lewis
Ryan Moore
Beau Hossler
Patrick Cantlay

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Russell Henley and Patrick Cantlay

 

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Short Courses

TPC River Highlands is not going to intimidate anyone with its length. 

It's a par 70 that plays to 6,841 yards on the tournament scorecard. 

Anytime the TOUR heads to a sub-7,000 yard course you know there will be plenty of wedges put in hand. 

Here are the top performers per round, when playing short courses, over the last two years: 

Bryson DeChambeau
Patrick Cantlay
Garrick Higgo
Patrick Reed
Paul Casey
Abraham Ancer
Lucas Herbert
Dustin Johnson
Sam Burns
Brendon Todd
Kevin Na
Joaquin Niemann
Scottie Scheffler
Chris Kirk
Jason Day

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Bryson DeChambeau
Jim Herman
Garrick Higgo
Tom Lewis
Ryan Armour
Sam Burns
Kevin Na
Chris Kirk
Brian Gay
Rob Oppenheim
Patrick Cantlay
Cameron Percy
Byeong Hun An
Tyler Duncan
Emiliano Grillo

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Bryson DeChambeau, Garrick Higgo, Sam Burns, Kevin Na, Chris Kirk, and Patrick Cantlay.

The sample sizes are smaller for Higgo and Herbert but they have dismantled short courses over on the European Tour. 

FanDuel Focus 

Patrick Cantlay ($11,800): The UCLA product shows up on both lists above. He grew up on the California coast so he's in that area where poa annua greens are common. He's also second-best in the field on short courses, over the last two years. He just won the Memorial earlier this month, another course in the region with bent/poa putting surfaces. A good name to consider at the top of the board when trying to find an anchor. 

Garrick Higgo ($9,500): He had a letdown after winning the Palmetto Championship but that's not too uncommon after a breakthrough TOUR victory. Now he'll head to a short course that may have him licking his chops. His two Euro Tour wins this year both came on courses that were less than 6,900 yards. What's most appealing here is his price tag, costing less than the average salary allotted per golfer. 

 

Good luck with your lineups this week and check back tomorrow for some more course-fit analysis. 

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.