2021 Travelers Championship odds, preview, and course notes
The U.S. Open is a tough act to follow on the PGA Tour calendar, but that doesn’t stop the Travelers Championship from attracting some of the biggest names in golf each season.
The 70th annual tournament in Cromwell, Connecticut will host a field of 156 players, including frontrunner Bryson DeChambeau (+1100), defending champ Dustin Johnson (+1200), 2021 Memorial Tournament winner Patrick Cantlay (+1400), two-time Travelers runner-up Paul Casey (+1600), and four-time major champion Brooks Koepka (+1600).
Travelers Championship 2021
Sun, June 27 2021, 7:59 PM
Played on the par-70, 6,841-yard TPC River Highlands, the event will take place on one of the shortest courses on tour, just a week after golfers confronted one of the longest — Torrey Pines’ South Course.
TPC River Highlands course notes and relevant statistics
Length off the tee offers an advantage at River Highlands, where players hit nearly 70% of fairways, compared to the tour average of 62%. Power hitter Bubba Watson (+4000) has won the event three times in the past decade, but driving the ball far is not a prerequisite to success.
In 2016, precision hitter Jim Furyk set a PGA Tour record with a 58 in the final round of the Travelers. Accurate drivers, like Kevin Streelman (+2800) and Chez Reavie (+12500) have also topped the leaderboard recently.
The greatest factors to winning at Cromwell are iron play, putting, and par 4 scoring, a category in which the past six champions all ranked first the week of their win.
The course features 12 par 4s, ranging from 296 yards to 481, with eight between 400 and 450 yards. Only two par 5s, between 523 and 574 yards, are included in the layout, while the par 3s measure 158 to 223 yards.
Water comes into play on just five holes, yet River Highlands annually ranks in the top 10 for water balls on tour.
The bentgrass greens are mixed with Poa annua (the grass found at Torrey Pines) and run at normal tour speed, while the rough is comprised of 3.5 inches of bluegrass and fescue.
The main statistics to factor for this tournament are strokes gained approaching the green, birdie or better percentage putting, par 4 scoring, and strokes gained off the tee.
Many of the same players tend to perform well at Cromwell, so course history will also help narrow the field.
Best bets at the 2021 Travelers Championship
If Johnson can win Sunday, he'll be the first back-to-back champ at the Travelers since Phil Mickelson (+6600) in 2001 and 2002.
With 24 PGA Tour victories, DJ should come in hot at Cromwell, even a week after a grueling test at Torrey Pines.
The No. 2 golfer in the world finished 19th at last week's U.S. Open and 10th at the Palmetto Championship the week before.
Last season's event was Johnson's first appearance at the Travelers since 2014, and he aced the test, despite a prolonged absence from the course.
Featured groups for @TravelersChamp:— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 22, 2021
⛳️ Brooks Koepka
⛳️ Dustin Johnson
⛳️ Tony Finau
🏌️♂️ Phil Mickelson
🏌️♂️ Bubba Watson
🏌️♂️ Paul Casey
⛳️ Patrick Cantlay
⛳️ Marc Leishman
⛳️ Garrick Higgo
🏌️♂️ Bryson DeChambeau
🏌️♂️ Stewart Cink
🏌️♂️ Patrick Reed pic.twitter.com/q5uxkaiTXX
While a golfer of his caliber should contend for a top finish, better value can be found elsewhere.
One player who should bounce back from his missed cut at Torrey Pines is Abraham Ancer, a +2500 choice. The 30-year-old from Texas struggled at the U.S. Open, but posted two top-five finishes and two in the top 15 in his four prior tour appearances, including eighth at the PGA Championship.
Ancer ranks fourth on tour in par 4 scoring and near the top 30 in strokes gained off the tee, birdie or better percentage putting, and strokes gained approaching the green. He also finished 11th at the Travelers last season.
Another competitor playing his best golf of late is Streelman (+2800), who won the Travelers in 2014 and finished second last year.
The 42-year-old most recently landed 15th at the U.S. Open, 13th at the Memorial, and eighth at the PGA Championship.
Following his strong performance at Torrey Pines, he should come in confident in Cromwell and vie for the top of the leaderboard once again.
How to watch the 2021 Travelers Championship
The winner of the Travelers Championship will receive $1.368 million of a $7.4 million purse, plus 500 FedEx Cup points.
You can catch the action Thursday and Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET, and Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 p.m. ET, on the Golf Channel. CBS will provide live coverage Saturday and Sunday, from 3-6 p.m. ET.