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2022 Travelers Championship FRL Picks: First-Round Value on Jason Day, Joel Dahmen, More

2022 Travelers Championship FRL Picks: First-Round Value on Jason Day, Joel Dahmen, More article feature image

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images. Pictured: Jason Day.

  • The PGA TOUR is in Connecticut this week for the 2022 Travelers Championship.
  • Matt Vincenzi has targeted four players who are not near the top of the outright odds board this week for his FRL picks.
  • Check out his first-round bets for this week below.

The PGA Tour will head to TPC River Highlands this week to play the 2022 Travelers Championship. 

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Travelers Championship is that any skill set can be successful at TPC River Highlands. In the past, we’ve seen big hitters like Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson bomb their way to victory, plotters like Chez Reavie and Kevin Knox rely on their strong iron play and golfers like Harris English, who do a little bit of everything. 

There are plenty of ways to get it done at this course, but strong current form approaching the event has been a pretty good indicator in past years. Reavie won in 2019 following his T3 finish at the U.S. Open the week prior, and Harris English did the same in 2021 after his third-place U.S. Open finish. 

TPC River Highlands isn’t an easy course and I don’t expect a “birdie fest,” but we’ve seen golfers go extremely low here in the past.

The course is home to the TOUR’s only round of 58, which was posted by Jim Furyk in 2016. We also saw Patrick Cantlay famously shoot a 60 here as an amateur back in 2011.

Any golfer we target in the first-round leader market must have the capability of going low. 

When looking at past first-round leaders’ starting times at TPC River Highlands, there have been plenty of first-round leaders from both the morning and afternoon tee times. There have been seven leaders or co-leaders who have started in the morning, and 11 leaders or co-leaders who have started in the afternoon.

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2022 Travelers Championship First-Round Leader Bets

Jason Day (+6500)

There’s no denying that Jason Day has been extremely inconsistent throughout the past few years. He’s looked good some weeks and flat-out horrible in others.

However, one thing that we have seen from him this season is his ability to repeat strong performances on courses where he’s had success in the past. TPC River Highlands is one of those courses. 

Last season, the Australian had missed three of his past four cuts heading into the Travelers Championship. Despite his poor form, he managed to finish in 10th place for the week and gained 4.8 strokes from tee to green.

More importantly for the first-round leader market, he showed the ability to shoot an extremely low round at the course.

I was in attendance that day and got a chance to follow him around for a good portion of his round. I saw firsthand how comfortable he felt at the course, which wasn’t a big surprise considering how well he’s played at Pete Dye designs throughout his career.

He shot an 8-under 62 that day, and I believe he’s capable of having a similar round on Thursday. 

Mackenzie Hughes (+6500)

Mackenzie Hughes has already been the first-round leader or co-leader at the Travelers Championship twice in the past three years. In 2020, he was the solo leader after the first round and shot a ridiculous 10-under 60.

This year, the Canadian is heading to TPC River Highlands in solid form. He finished 28th at the RBC Canadian Open and 24th at the U.S. Open.

In 2020, Hughes gained 11.9 strokes with his short game, which will be a useful way to attack this course once again in 2022. 

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Joel Dahmen (+8000)

Joel Dahmen had one of the most impressive performances of any player at last week’s U.S. Open. He gained a whopping 8.0 strokes on approach for the week, which ranked fourth in the star-studded field. 

After his final round was over, Dahmen spoke about how confident he felt in his game at the moment. 

“I can hit it with the best of them,” he said Sunday night. “I learned that, especially on a course like this, where you have to hit it in the fairway and it’s not overly long. I think I was one of the best ball-strikers over the four days. I always knew I needed to kind of clean up the wedges and the putter if I really wanted to do this, and the putter just wasn’t quite there. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t good enough to win, especially with the wedges. I kind of impressed myself, I guess, in this situation. I hung in there.”

The 34-year-old now heads to a golf course that should be much more manageable for him to contend on. In his 2020 start at TPC River Highlands, Dahmen shot four rounds in the 60s, highlighting how well the course may suit his game. 

Cameron Davis (+10000)

It’s been a bit surprising to see how well Cameron Davis has played short courses throughout his career considering he hits it a long way off the tee.

Earlier this year, he finished in a tie for third place at the RBC Heritage, which is another short Pete Dye track. He shot a final-round 63 and is the type of golfer who’s capable of posting a low round at any time.

Speaking of Dye-designed courses, the Australian has been excellent on other Dye designs as well, ranking 10th in the field in that department over his past 24 rounds. 

Davis has a 7:15 a.m. tee time and will look to get out of the gates hot. 

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