The Travelers Championship, coming just one week after a thrilling U.S. Open finish at Torrey Pines, has attracted an unexpectedly strong field, with five of the top ten players in the Official World Golf Rankings expected to tee it up at TPC River Highlands near Hartford, Connecticut. Even though last week’s winner is taking the weekend off, defending champion Dustin Johnson, 2020 U.S. Open champion and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka will be in attendance.
Johnson finished at 19 under par 261 to win last year’s tournament by a shot over Kevin Streelman in an event that dates back to 1952 and has been played at TPC River Highlands for the last 38 years. The par 70, 6,841-yard layout was the site of Jim Furyk’s record 58 in 2016 and traditionally yields low scores, including Johnson’s third round 61 on his way to victory last year.
Predictably, Dustin Johnson is this week’s co-favorite (Bryson DeChambeau) at +1200.
Predictably, DJ is this week’s co-favorite at +1200, but his performances in the past several tournaments haven’t lived up to the great expectations he established with his play to end the 2020 season and begin the current one. The same can be said for the other leader in the betting odds, Bryson DeChambeau, who imploded in last week’s U.S. Open on Sunday with a back nine 44 after leading by a shot.
In fact, the top of the odds list is full of players who ended up firing then falling back at Torrey Pines, including Brooks Koepka at +1400, who bogeyed the 16th hole and the easiest hole on the course, the 18th, after looking like he might be able to grab his third U.S. Open title and a fifth major championship. Paul Casey at +1600 was also in contention in another major and failed to close it out, remaining one of the more popular players yet to win a major.
Scottie Scheffler is at +2200 and is still in search of his first PGA Tour victory, although with the way he has played in the 2020-2021 season, it doesn’t appear that it can be that far away. A golfer who has been waiting for over five years to add a second PGA Tour title to his record is Tony Finau, who missed the cut by four shots last week and has odds of +2800.
Longshot Former Travelers Championship Winners
Three-time winner Bubba Watson is in the field, bringing with him a new, relaxed attitude that might give him a chance as a big +4500 underdog on a course that he is obviously comfortable with and where he last won in 2018. It’s worth mentioning that two-time Travelers winner Phil Mickelson will be at TPC River Highlands at +6600 instead of the Senior Players Championship, where he could have made a bid to pick up his first major on the PGA Tour Champions.
The winner of the 2008 Travelers, Stewart Cink, is seeing a resurgence in his career at the age of 48 after putting his son on the bag and winning twice in 2020-2021. At odds of +8000, he could provide a great payoff if he could pick up his third win of the season.