2021 Travelers Championship Picks: Our Best Outright Bets at TPC River Highlands
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Reed
After a riveting U.S. Open, the PGA TOUR shifts its focus to TPC River Highlands for the 2021 Travelers Championship. And you gotta admit, it’s a pretty fun change of pace to go from the rugged scoring conditions at Torrey Pines to the short, score-able confines we will see this week.
Which players have what it takes to make a run at River Highlands? Check out our favorite outright bets to find out:
Justin Rose (+7000)
Wait, the same Justin Rose who just posted rounds of 78-77 to miss the cut by a mile at the U.S. Open? No. Well, yeah. But not really.
Instead, I’d prefer to consider this play the same Justin Rose who MC’d by six strokes in Tampa, then finished T-8 at the PGA in his next start. Or the same Justin Rose who was injured and out of form before the Masters, then led after 36 holes and finished in seventh place. Or the same Justin Rose whose last two PGA TOUR wins came without much warning from previous results.
The point is, he owns a bit of a track record for turning things around in a hurry. I think his scores from Torrey will have most bettors looking elsewhere, but there’s some definitive value in jumping on him when logic says we should least expect it.
After a weekend that yielded 16 birdies at last month’s PGA Championship, I had Rose firmly in the crosshairs for a victory soon. I’m not ready to give up on that notion yet, especially at an inflated number this week that is twice the price as a guy like Scottie Scheffler or Tony Finau.
Harris English (+5000)
I started my card this week with Harris English. He was third at the U.S. Open last week and in contention late at the Palmetto Championship, so the game is where it needs to be to compete in this field.
English doesn’t have great results here, but he was seventh here in 2014 when he opened 66-64. So if the game is right, he can find his way around TPC River Highlands.
Paul Casey (+1800)
There are a multitude of factors that point to Paul Casey being an excellent bet to win the Travelers Championship this week.
For starters, the Englishman absolutely loves TPC River Highlands. In his past six starts at the course, he has four top-five finishes with two of those being runner-ups.
It’s no surprise that Casey plays well here when you consider his strengths. It is a shorter course, so his relative lack of distance off of the tee won’t hurt him, and his approach play has been fantastic of late, ranking second in the field in his past 24 rounds.
The 43-year-old has also had indisputable success on Pete Dye course, ranking fifth in the field in Strokes Gained: Total on Dye tracks.
Admittedly, we are paying a premium this week to bet a golfer who doesn’t win all that often, but coming off of back to back top-10 finishes at major championships Casey is knocking on the door looking to add to his three PGA TOUR wins. There is no doubt that TPC River Highlands is the right course at the right time for Casey to bust through and hoist the trophy.
Patrick Reed (+2300)
The buying signs I look for with Patrick Reed are nearly jumping off the page this week.
Most of the time I tend to avoid Reed on courses with penal rough because he tends to spray it off the tee, but over the last 12 rounds he ranks 23rd in this field in fairways gained. Pair that with scorching iron play that ranks ninth in this field and Reed’s lights-out short game and this could have the makings of a runaway win.