Aug 22, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Abraham Ancer hits his tee shot on the 4th hole during the first round of the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

After a wild tournament last weekend at Torrey Pines, the PGA Tour is moving to River Highlands in Connecticut this weekend for the Travelers Championship. Can Rahmbo pull it off again? Our partners at Advanced Sports Analytics are taking value over statute. Let’s dive in and see their value picks to help you cash in on SuperDraft.

Course Overview

Expect a birdie fest this weekend at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut. Scores have been dipping lower & lower year over year, with winning scores since 2016 sitting at -14, -12, -17, -17, -19. The course has interesting z-score weights: strong negative coefficients for Putting, Around the Green, and Off the Tee play suggest that there should be a good amount of scoring randomness at the Travelers. That is, the relative importance of just about every shot type is weaker at TPC River Highlands than it is on the average PGA Tour course.

The one-shot type that plays up at TPC River Highlands (more than half a standard deviation more important than the average tour course) is strokes gained on Approach shots. The course has been on tour for a while now, our data for the Travelers goes back to 2016, and we’ve got a handful of golfers who have played the tournament every year since then.

Favorite To Trust

Paul Casey (1.15x)

Casey is one of those golfers that has played 5 tournaments at TPC River Highlands since 2016, he has made the cut every time out in that stretch, has no wins but three Top 5 finishes, and has gained an average of +2.06 strokes per round. Casey has been a super balanced golfer as of late, gaining strokes in every facet of his game over the past 6 months, but he really excels at the shot type that should play up this weekend – his +1.18 strokes gained approach per round (over the past 6 months) is 2nd best in this weekend’s field. He’s also got great win odds at 15-1, only bested by 1x studs DJ, Koepka, and DeChambeau. The next best win odds for a golfer with as high of a multiplier as Casey is Scottie Scheffler at 1.15x/23-1 odds.

Challenger Who Could Win

Abraham Ancer (1.25x)

Like Casey, Ancer has a) good win odds relative to the multiplier, b) strong course history, and c) really strong approach play. Over the past 6 months, Ancer has been gaining nearly a stroke per round on approach shots, this should really play up this weekend. In his last three appearances at TPC River Highlands, Ancer has gone missed cut (2018), T8 (2019), T11 (2020). He hasn’t been stellar, but his play has been strong, he’s gained an average of +1.52 strokes per round over that stretch. Ancer’s putting has been pedestrian of late, but his historic putting on Bentgrass greens has been good, +0.34 strokes gained putting per round on Bentgrass compared to his non-Bentgrass putting.

Sleeper To Take A Flyer On

Hank Lebioda (1.6x)

At 1.6x Lebioda is our favorite deep play on the slate. His putting leaves a bit to be desired, but as mentioned, we expect putting skill to have decreased importance this weekend. Where Lebioda excels is the most valuable trait for the course: his approach play. Over the past 6 months, Lebioda has been dialed in with his irons, gaining +0.77 strokes per round on approach shots, that’s good for 6th in this week’s field. There is natural volatility for Lebioda as he is far from a lock to make it through to the weekend, but he has made the cut in both of his Travelers appearances and is coming off of a respectable (for 1.6x) 8-under, T41 showing at last year’s Travelers.

This article expresses the personal views of the writer and does not reflect the view(s) of SuperDraft in any way.

Featured Image Source: USATSI

Click here to join our $20 multi-entry PGA Long Drive competition with $1,250 to first place!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here