Recap of last weeks bets, 2021 U.S. Open
For our commitment to transparency at BeerLife Sports, we ALWAYS recap our previous picks — good, bad, or ugly.
To Win – Christiaan Bezuidenhout – LOST
To Make the Cut – Jason Kokrak – LOST
Top Ten Finish – Jon Rahm – WON
Leader After Round One – Cameron Smith – LOST
Top Englishman – Ian Poulter – LOST
Top British & Irish Player – Shane Lowry – LOST
Profit/Loss – Loss of $37.50 to a $10 Stake
Betting the Travelers Championship
The Travelers Championship, held at Cromwell, Connecticut, two hours from Manhattan, has traditionally been a well-attended PGA Tour event with a major tournament feel. Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Paul Casey, Abraham Ancer, Justin Rose, Tony Finau, and Marc Leishman lead the betting market for 2021.
It’s interesting to see the mix of recent winners here. Dustin Johnson, the defending champion, and Bubba Watson, the three-time winner, blasted their way to victory, yet both are unquestionably innovative shot-shapers.
Jordan Spieth, the 2017 winner, and Marc Leishman, the 2017 runner-up, are both ball-flight movers who flourish on shorter tree-lined courses. Reavie, Knox, Streelman, Duke, Jacobson, and Perry were far more accurate from the tee. Dustin and Bubba, in particular, are a strange combination of short, precise types and those with a bit more length off the tee! So, what is the TPC River Highlands secret?
The winning formula in Hartford, Connecticut is high-quality birdie making backed up by top-notch Strokes Gained on Approach. All 11 Travelers winners were in the top 17 for Putting Average (Putts per GIR) during the week, with putts-per-GIR of less than 1.7 looking like a must-have for victory, but it doesn’t always equate to a good Strokes Gained Putting performance.
So this week’s winner isn’t necessarily the person who sinks the most putts over a certain distance. Instead, the last five winners have all finished in the top 18 for strokes gained on approach and top 6 for strokes gained from tee to green.
Pete Dye, a renowned golf course architect, renovated the course to TPC standards. In 1984, it reopened as the TPC of Connecticut. In 1989, it was renamed TPC River Highlands after another makeover by Bobby Weed in collaboration with Howard Twitty and Roger Maltbie.
Before the 2016 edition of the competition, the course underwent even more changes. For increased playability, the bunkers were restyled across the course with new drainage and sand.
The course is one of the shortest on the schedule, and the fairways and greens have a reputation for being among the easiest to hit. From the championship tees, the course measures 6,841 yards and is a Par 70.
To win the Travelers Championship, you must finish in the low double digits, so it’s a case of go low or go home. Since 2007, the average winning score has been just over -16. Jim Furyk made PGA Tour history in 2016 when he shot a 58 in the final round. Dustin Johnson won the 2020 Travelers Championship last year for his 21st PGA Tour title. He finished with a final-round -3 (67) for a week total of -19 (261). It was enough to win by one stroke against Kevin Streelman.
Johnson finished comfortably inside the Top 10 for Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green despite a negative Strokes Gained Off-The-Tee because of some excellent iron play on approach. He placed seventh in the Strokes Gained Approach, gaining a little over six strokes, or 45 percent of his total gain. For the week, his putter produced a similar result. T87 for Driving Accuracy, T57 for Driving Distance, T23 for GIR, and 5th for Putts per GIR are among the other statistics.
On to my picks for this year’s Traveler’s Championship…
Russell Henley +5000
All the statistics point towards Russell Henley continuing his excellent form this week. He is a solid approach player, and as long as he doesn’t have a U.S Open hangover, he should do well this week.
To Make The Cut
Charley Hoffman -250
Charley is a solid approach player who has shot a 62 this season, and with this course being renowned for throwing up low-scoring rounds, you wouldn’t bet against him doing this again. He has made the second-highest number of birdies this season, and he should add plenty more this week.
To Miss The Cut
Si Woo Kim +160
There is no doubt that Kim is a good player, but he’s putting lets him down more often than not. He also doesn’t bounce back very well if he has a bad hole and can get stuck in a rut and go on a run of bogeys. If he starts poorly, it could quickly spiral, and he could miss the cut.
Top Ten Finish
Scottie Scheffler +250
Scottie ranks inside the top ten for his first-round average, so he should get off to a good start and kick on into the weekend. He also ranks inside the top ten for his final round, and therefore it should give him an excellent chance to do well here. He has finished inside the top ten in three of his previous four tournaments and seems a safe bet in this market right now.
Leader After Round One
Cameron Tringale +8000
Cameron is a good approach player and can scramble when necessary. He ranks inside the top ten for one-putt percentage this season and has averaged the second-lowest number of putts for round one, proving he can start fast.
Comment now before the tourney starts on these picks? Are they going to be good, bad, or ugly? I’m confident, what says you?