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Travelers Championship 2024: Course Preview & Rithmm Best Bets

June 19, 2024

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After the week of a major championship, people are still recovering. So far in 2024, though, there hasn't been much time to do that with the way the weekly scheduled is organized, and not much is different this week: it's the last Signature Event of the season, the 2024 Travelers Championship, held at TPC River Highlands.

This is a tournament that has had plenty of storylines. From Patick Cantlay setting the one-time course record of 60 while as an amateur in college still, to Northeast native Keegan Bradley hoisting the trophy last year, this event definitely holds a special place in history.

The Travelers Championship has become one of the most attended events on the yearly schedule, as it ranks second only to the WM Phoenix Open in total attendance. It doesn't get completely as rowdy as the Scottsdale event, but the Cromwell, CT course gets plenty of action and creates an atmosphere that is fueled by the high level of competition.

Don't be fooled by the low scores that you'll see here: this is no birdie-fest. The best golfers have routinely won here, and it's undergone some changes since last year's event.

Let's dive into my 2024 Travelers Championship course preview and of course, the best bets according to my Rithmm model that we'll be following this week.

2024 Travelers Championship Course Preview

TPC River Highlands is realistically a course that was hard 10+ years ago, and not so much now. At 6,835 yards this year, thrd-shortest on the schedule, the course does not exactly terrify players, and you can get around it easily.

The keys to this course are pretty simple: stay out of the rough, which is a mix of Kentucky Bluegrass and Fescue that grows out past 4", and have a great short game, a characteristic of most winners on Pete Dye courses.

There is not any one play style that performs better than theother here. In past years, both bombers and plodders have proven victorious, but you have to be willing to shape the ball around and be accurate on your approach shots.

Typical of a Pete Dye design, players will find themselves taking on shots over bodies of water on this course, despite water danger on only five holes. The goal here is to score birdies, needed on a course where the average winning score has been -16 over the last decade, so players will take risks.

The 15-17 stretch of holes might be one of the most exciting closing stretches of holes on the PGA Tour, as all three border a large lake and can bring on scores from eagle to double bogey very quickly. You get a risk-reward sub-300 yard Par 4, a Par 3 over water, and another Par 4 that forces you to hit a shot around the water.

All in all, TPC River Highlands is an exciting challenge that continually attracts the game's best players, despite the relative easiness of the course.

Rithmm Models used for 2024 Travelers Championship Course Preview

In every Course Preview, we’ll be diving into Rithmm’s proprietary model to help you build the best betting model for that week’s course! Rithmm has its own AI model that it generates based on thousands of sims, but you also might want to build your own model, so that’s what this section is for.

When we get into Rithmm’s modeling aspect, it has five customizable sliders that you can mess around with: Recent Performance, Par 5 Performance, Par 4 Performance, Par 3 Performance, and Course Fit. You can adjust these to your heart’s content, and make it reflect the way you see the important stats.

My model for the 2024 Travelers Championship is below:

Unlike the courses that we've had recently in Muirfield Village and Pinehurst #2, TPC River Highlands isn't long at all. In fact, it's the third-shortest course out of 44 on the PGA Tour, per Ron Klos of Betsperts Golf.

This makes things like driving distance and approach proximity buckets mean a little less in the grand scheme of things. Above all, the Course Fit is my favorite model setting to focus on for a short, secondary shot course like this. Course Fit is stickier at this track than most others, due to a lot of similar courses that players like, like Colonial Country Club, TPC Deer Run, and TPC Sawgrass.

The course fit that we're looking for is players who do well on tree-lined courses that can keep their ball in the fairway from off the tee, even if they need to club down to do it. With how short the course is, there are plenty of holes you can take less than driver and be in a fine spot.

Par 4 Scoring may possibly be the most important skill on our model this week. At a course like this, with only two Par 5s and the Par 3s not playing that difficult, the 12 Par 4s will be where you need to score.

After that, things like how good you are with your wedges comes into play for me more than anything else. Recent form is always nice to have, but based off of previous years, you don't need to have come off of a good performance at the US Open to play well here. For example, 2023 champ Keegan Bradley missed the cut the prior week before winning here.

Best Betting Picks for Travelers Championship 2024

It’s time to build our Rithmm betting card for this week. We’re going to go into each of Rithmm’s favorite picks for Top 20/10/5 based on my model, and whether I agree or disagree with it.

Top 20: Matt Fitzpatrick +140 (50% Rithmm Win Probability)

Fitzpatrick is a very interesting choice. He's certainly in good enough form coming in, given that two weeks ago he finished fifth in the Memorial Tournament. However, this has not been a course he has played well at, with only a T49 and a missed cut in his two appearances.

On the statistical side, Fitzpatrick makes a good case. Despite his wedge numbers being less than amazing, he has gained strokes on approach in each of his last three tournaments.

Ultimately, I'm not sure about this one. I'm going to pass on this, and instead recommend Russell Henley -105.

Top 10: Corey Conners +260 (36%)

Corey Conners last week and now Conners this week. Can we go 2/2 in getting this call right?

I do like Conners a lot this week. The best players for TPC River Highlands are accurate off the tee, solid on approach to get inside the less than 5,000 square foot greens, and can get plenty of birdies on Par 4s.

The Canadian fits that in spades, and he finished T9 last year in his first appearance here since 2020. Conners ranks ninth in Par 4 Birdie or Better %, and we know how good his approach game is, especially from 125-150 yards, where he ranks second and over 21% of approach shots came from last year.

Let's get another one here!

Top 5: Ludvig Aberg +300 (34.9%)

Aberg has come so close so many times , he's one of those players that once he wins one sizable event, he's going to win a bunch. He's already contended extensively in two of his first three career major tournaments, so TPC River Highlands may just be the place!

The PGA Tour rookie has the perfect game for a course like this. His driving accuracy, which ranks first in this field, will be a major asset for him as he moves around the course. He also ranks third in this field for strokes gained on Pete Dye courses, at +1.86.

I don't think Aberg is going to shy away despite not having the best weekend at the US Open, because he's already shown a maturity beyond his years in how he handles himself. I expect that'll extend to him playing very well this week, and he is one of my outright winner picks.

Outright Winner Pick for Travelers Championship : Hideki Matsuyama +2200 (5.4%)

Well, I could have gone with Ludvig Aberg again (you can pretend I did, on my above model he is given an 11.7% chance of winning, nearly double his implied odds at 14/1), but Matsuyama is next up and I do like him this week as well.

Hideki is coming off an awesome performance at the U.S. Open, so I'm glad to see his injury issues that cause him to pull out of the Wells Fargo last month are resolved.

He has only one start at this event: a T13 last year, so we know he can play effectively at this course. He's also one of the best scramblers on Tour, something that will come in handy if he misses on the small greens.

When it all comes down to it, the only thing I'm not sure about with Matsuyama is how effective he might be after an ultra deep run at Pinehurt #2 last week. I will most likely rather to bet him at a top ten price rather than an outright. It's +210, and might be more realistic.

AI Caddie Picks for Round 1

The AI Caddie is an awesome Rithmm tool that allows you to go hole by hole with any player you choose and it will show you a chart of how likely that player is versus the field to get any score on a hole.

Closing Remarks on 2024 Travelers Championship Course Preview

For the last signature event of the year, TPC River Highlands is a perfect venue to truly dive into the summer season of the PGA Tour. I hope that my best bets & course preview gives you all the insights and predictions needed to make informed wagers.

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