The Travelers Championship returns to its traditional slot on Thursday in the week after the US Open. The tournament was moved until after the PGA Championship in 2016 as the schedulers tried to find room for the Olympics but its return to June has seen some of the world’s best golfers decide to turn up for a crack at TPC River Highlands.
River Highlands is a well thought of, if rather strange, course. Previous winners include both long hitters and short hitters, those who hit fairways and greens and those who spray it everywhere off the tee, world class putters and those who prioritise quality approach shots. It really does seem as though TPC River Highlands is the type of course at which the best player over the four days will win, simple as that.
McIlroy To Silence Critics
Rory McIlroy knows that as one of the most widely recognised sportsmen on the planet he is going to come in for a certain amount of criticism. He generally deals with the critics well but he bit on Twitter after missing the cut at the US Open after a fellow pro claimed that McIlroy was bored with golf.
That was just the latest in a long line of criticisms of McIlroy this year thanks to his injury problems and his decision to change his clubs on more than one occasion. One of the best attributes of those who make it to the very top of sport is the way they can prove people wrong. McIlroy may be making his first ever appearance at the Travelers Championship but with motivation levels through the roof and one of the best golf games in history, he’s certainly capable of winning on debut at 10/1 with Sky Bet.
Watson’s Improvement Can Reach a Crescendo at Course He Loves
The varied nature of TPC River Highlands means that any sort of player is capable of scoring well there. But don’t think it doesn’t produce course specialists, just look at Bubba Watson. The Big hitting American has become known for playing ‘Bubba Golf’ and his own, unique style has paid off at the Travelers Championship where he’s won twice, tied for second and finished fourth in recent years.
Like McIlroy, Watson has been criticised for his choice of equipment (specifically his new pink golf balls) but those critics were rather quieter when he finished sixth at the Memorial. A missed cut at the US Open didn’t stop him from winning the Travelers in 2015 and it shouldn’t preclude him this year at35/1 with Bet365.
Johnson to Utilise Skill Set for a Solid Week
Zach Johnson is not everybody’s cup of tea. His style of play and demeanour make it hard for him to win too many fans but that’s of little concern to the two time major champion. He’s happy to make the most of his accurate game and has done very well out of it. Johnson certainly used his ability to hit fairways and greens when finishing sixth at the Travelers Championship in 2015 and he should be there or thereabouts this week so back him each way at 66/1 with Betfair.