Previews and pre-event analysis from Golf Betting System's PGA Tour and European Tour coverage
To read Steve Bamford's The Travelers Championship Tips for 2014 click here. Follow Steve on twitter: @bamfordgolf
The Travelers Championship traditionally occupies the post-U.S. Open slot and offers the PGA Tour players a little respite after the rigours of the planet's hardest golf tournament. Held at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, the course is not the most taxing and is traditionally set-up to encourage birdies and aggressive shot making. With Travelers extending their sponsorship forward through 2024 and with the tournament receiving the second biggest attendance figures behind the Phoenix Open, this event is respected by both PGA Tour executives and players. Read Steve Bamford's Travelers Championship tips for 2014 click here
Tournament Facts & Scheduling
The scheduling of the Travelers is potentially the biggest factor behind how the tournament traditionally throws up shock winners. TPC River Highlands is a rarity on the PGA Tour; a sub 6,900 yard golf course, which isn't onerous as it features wide fairways and receptive regular-sized Bentgrass greens. It's as opposite to the U.S. Open as you will find on the Tour and plenty of the longer hitters hit the vast majority of their approach shots to the Par 4s with nothing bigger than a wedge. U.S. Open contenders tend to struggle with the slower greens and the fact that they have to convert around 1 in 3 holes to be serious contenders here in Cromwell.
Travelers Championship Course Details
TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut. Designer: Designer: Robert J. Ross 1928, with Weed renovation 1998; Course Type: Resort Par: 70 Length: 6,854 yards Bunkers: 119 Fairways: Bentgrass Rough: Kentucky Bluegrass with Perennial Rye Greens: 5,500 sq.ft average featuring Bentgrass Stimpmeter: 10.5ft Scoring Avg 2012: 69.84 Ranked 26 of 49 courses for difficulty on the 2012 PGA Tour 2013: 70.25 Ranked 20 of 43 courses in 2013 for difficulty.
Previous Champions: 2013: Ken Duke; 2012: Marc Leishman; 2011: Freddie Jacobson; 2010: Zach Johnson; 2009: Kenny Perry; 2008: Stewart Cink.
Winner's Score: 2013: -12/268; 2012: -14/266; 2011: -20/260; 2010: -14/266; 2009: -22/258.
Winners Prices: 2013: Duke - 150/1 2012: Leishman - 125/1 2011: Jacobson - 45/1 2010: Watson - 50/1 2009: Perry - 20/1
Pre-Tournament Key Summary
A quick glance at the recent winners here at TPC River Highlands, spells out that this tournament is wide-open. Stewart Cink and Kenny Perry were regular Tour high profile winners back in 2008/9, but since Bubba Watson's emotional win here in 2010, Tour maidens have captured the title. Ken Duke was over 40 and looking for his first PGA Tour victory when he won here in 2013. Indeed 6 of the last 8 winners were winning for the first time on the PGA Tour and 5 of the last 11 winners have been aged over 40.
Interesting angles, that support the fact that contending at the previous week's U.S. Open seems to be a real negative when trying to find the winner here. Only Freddie Jacobson in very recent times has gone out in the last few groups of the U.S. Open (Congressional 2011) and then gone onto win here at the Travelers.
It's worth remembering that Congressional in 2011 was ruined by incessant rain both in the build up and each evening during the tournament; so the jump in green speeds was hardly noticeable that particular year. Over and above that there are definite course form links to Augusta, Torrey Pines, Bay Hill, TPC Four Seasons, TPC Louisiana and TPC Boston.
Below we track the results of Golf Betting System PGA Tour tipster Steve Bamford who has been producing weekly tips since 2009. You can also follow him on Twitter @bamfordgolf.