2024 Travelers Championship Data-Driven Pick for Round 1: Bet Adam Scott

2024 Travelers Championship Data-Driven Pick for Round 1: Bet Adam Scott article feature image
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Via Keyur Khamar/Getty Images. Pictured: Adam Scott of Australia smiles after making a par putt on the sixth hole green during the first round of the U.S. Open on the No. 2 Course at Pinehurst Resort on June 13, 2024, in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

The host of this week's Travelers Championship, TPC River Highlands, shares some key commonalities with typical Pete Dye designs and TPC courses.

However, the property did undergo a minor restoration after Keegan Bradley shot 23-under last year to capture the title, but that is where we can potentially find an advantage in our model-building.

I always find these situations difficult because there's a slight data shift from past iterations when you create deviations from the general expectations of the past, especially when there was a concerted effort to prevent TPC River Highlands from being a bomb-and-gouge facility by adding extra rough and narrowed fairways.

This will add to the questions asked by the course, although I am under the belief that the fabric of the track won't change overnight with the course still measuring under 6,900 yards and delivering nearly 70% of its approach shots from within 175 yards.

The course changes do add to the discussion of how much Driving Accuracy should get included in the mix for a course that presented just under a 3% increase in expected off-the-tee production over the last few seasons compared to a standard stop on the PGA Tour.

Still, I don't want that viewpoint to be the only way people try to build a model since there are many ways to find an advantage against the field, including weights for Dye + TPC tracks or the fact that the course yields over 7% more shots from 125-175 yards than average.

Find my 2024 Travelers Championship Data-Driven Pick for Round 1 below.

2024 Travelers Championship Data-Driven Pick for Round 1

Adam Scott -120 over Will Zalatoris (bet365)

If you shop around, you can find this wager at a few other locations, but my model continues to be much lower than the public consensus on Will Zalatoris.

Zalatoris has been on record that he may have returned from his severe back surgery too soon. I don't know if the form is necessarily as bad as it seems for a golfer who hasn't cracked the top 40 in five straight events. However, a birdie-fest that removes his long-iron-proximity advantage takes away his biggest strength since his return.

My model ranked Zalatoris a head-scratching 69th out of 71 players this week in Weighted Strokes Gained: Total for TPC River Highlands — ahead of only Robert MacIntyre and Taylor Moore.

The Wake Forest Demon Deacon also placed outside the top 50 for Strokes Gained: Total on Similar Greens + Fairways + Rough (a fancy way to say comp courses) and Expected Total Driving + Primary Proximity Zones (an essential ball-striking projection for this week's venue).

While I will always hype up the fade portion of these answers over the golfer I am backing, I am much higher on Adam Scott than the public this week because he trends up my model when diving into his pertinent data for the event

Consequently, this is a wager where I not only get to take on one of my most significant fade candidates on the board but also back a top-20 Projected Win Equity golfer who isn't priced in that range by the books this week.

For more in-depth analysis of this week's event, check out the Links + Locks Travelers Championship Betting Preview podcast.

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