By News Team
Last Updated: 24th June 2020
For the third week in succession on the PGA Tour, all of the top five in the world are in action.
This time around, it’s the turn of TPC River Highlands in Connecticut to play host for the Travelers Championship, and with all of the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings teeing it up as well at the aforementioned top five in the world, we’re all set for another cracking week’s golf.
We’ve cast an eye over the whole field ahead of Thursday’s opening round and here is our preview.
Things could look Rosey for Justin in Connecticut
Looking back at the previous 10 winners of this tournament, it’s clear that putting really is crucial. TPC River Highlands is conducive to low scoring, as shown by Jim Furyk’s 58 there four years ago, and while you can never be certain on who is going to have a hot week with the flat-stick, the stats from the previous two weeks should give us a pretty good idea.
Six players have ranked inside the top 25 for total putting at both the recent tournaments and while one of them, Justin Thomas, is greatly respected, it’s his namesake, JUSTIN ROSE, that gets the vote at 28/1.
It has been a bit of a struggle in recent months for the Englishman, who hadn’t quite been able to recapture the form that saw him reach number one in the world in 2018. An equipment change was muted for the reason behind the downturn in form and three missed cuts in his first six events of the season was certainly not the form of one of the most consistent players in the game.
He has since ended his relationship with that equipment supplier and has looked much more comfortable over the past two weeks with finishes of a tie for third and a tie for 14th last week.
As mentioned, putting is going to be crucial here and Rose seems to have found his mojo on the greens with two very solid weeks. He’s going to get plenty of opportunities at this relatively easy track and providing he can keep ‘rolling the rock’ as he has been, he could go close to capturing a first trophy since early 2019.
Reed all about it
The other player fancied to go well this week is PATRICK REED at 40/1. Many might be put off by the former Masters champion’s missed cut at Harbour Town last week, but as we saw with Webb Simpson, a missed cut can sometimes work in a player’s favour the following week.
The American didn’t really get going at Hilton Head, but that isn’t to say Reed’s game isn’t in good shape as he finished in a tie for seventh at the Charles Schwab Challenge the week prior and he won the WGC-Mexico Championship in late February too.
Reed has become one of the best short-game players in the world and given he currently ranks third for strokes gained putting and seventh for total putting on the PGA Tour this season, he must be licking his lips at the thought of playing a golf course where putting is at a premium.
He has a patchy record at TPC River Highlands, but he did finish 11th in 2016 and fifth in 2017, so he does know his way around the place.