The PGA Tour gets back to business this week with the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands, kicking off a four-event stretch leading into the British Open in mid-July.
The long-time Greater Hartford Open has become something of go-to event the past couple of seasons, and this year is no different, as nine of the top-20 ranked players in the world will tee it up in Cromwell, Conn.
Headlining the star-studded field is world No. 4 Brooks Koepka, fresh off a repeat win at the U.S. Open. The 28-year old Floridian is joined by fellow under-30 American stars, and the three other reigning major champions, in Jordan Spieth (British Open), Justin Thomas (PGA Championship), and Patrick Reed (Masters).
The top-six favorites are bunched up with odds between 12-1 and 16-1. Thomas, and four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, lead the way at 12-1. Defending champion Spieth is next at 14-1, while Reed, Koepka, and Jason Day are at 16-1. No other players are offered lower than 20-1.
Paul Casey (20-1) leads another set of a half-dozen players listed with odds better than 30-1, including PLAYERS champion Webb Simpson (22-1), Marc Leishman (25-1), two-time Travelers winner Bubba Watson (28-1), 2017 runner-up Daniel Berger (28-1), and Ryan Moore (28-1).
Young, upstart stars Bryson DeChambeau (33-1), Patrick Cantlay (33-1) and Xander Schauffele (35-1) are the next three favorites, and the only other players under 40-1.
PAYOFF PICK: Jim Furyk is nearing the end of a fabulous career, but at 150-1 it’s hard not to take a flyer on the man who shot 58 on this course just two years ago, and who was in the hunt just last week at the U.S. Open.
THREE PROP BETS
1. Patrick Reed (Prop: Top American, +1000): Reed is coming off a T4 at the U.S. Open and has historically played well at TPC River Highlands, including a T5 here in 2017.
WAGER: We’re risking $100 to win $1,000 on Reed to finish as the top American.
2. Jordan Spieth (Prop: Top 10, +120): The defending champion is in the midst of his worst season as a pro, but he’s still Jordan Spieth, and there would be no better time to break his string of five-straight starts without a top-20 finish.
WAGER: We’re risking $200 to win $240 on Spieth to finish in the top 10.
3. Paul Casey (Prop: Top European, +200) Casey has 12 top-20 finishes in 14 starts this season, and has finished T2, T17, and T5 in his last three attempts at the Travelers. The 40-year old Englishman is almost guaranteed for a top-10 finish, so this is more betting against Rory to finish inside the top 10.
WAGER: We’re risking $200 to win $400 on Casey to finish as the top European.
Tournament: Travelers Championship
Dates: June 21-24, 2018
Where: Cromwell, Conn.
Course: TPC River Highlands
Distance: Par 70, 6,841 yards
Architect: Pete Dye
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $1,260,000
Defending Champion: Jordan Spieth