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Will the New Pros Be Able to Keep Up at the Travelers Championship? Plays and Pivots on DraftKings

After a week out in Pebble Beach for an exciting U.S. Open, we’re heading east to scenic Cromwell, Connecticut to TPC River Highlands. This course has been in the rotation since 1992. It’s a short Pete Dye design, coming in at about 6,800 yards and is a par 70. The bentgrass greens run reasonably fast — around 11.5 feet on the stimpmeter. They are some of the smaller greens on Tour, averaging about 5,000 square feet. The course features four water hazards and is littered with 69 bunkers. As always, for more information about the course and trends, check out yesterday’s course preview.

Checking The Chalk

Brooks Koepka ($11,800) is the most expensive golfer on DK this week. Not enough can be said about how well he’s playing this year. Since missing the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he’s made a half dozen cuts in a row. During that stretch, he’s finished in the top five on four occasions. Three of those occasions happened to be in majors where he won the PGA Championship and had two runner-up finishes. He is averaging 70% of greens in regulation hit over his past five starts. There aren’t many golfers who could sustain that type of ball-striking over the course of an event, let alone two months.  He’s played well here in his three starts, as well, making each cut and finishing in the top 20 twice.

Bubba Watson ($8,900) has hoisted the trophy twice in the past four years at TPC River Highlands. Dating back to 2012, he’s made six of seven cuts here, including the aforementioned pair of wins and two other top-five finishes. Lately, Watson has struggled mightily with his short game. He’s lost strokes around the green or putting in seven of his last ten starts.

Paul Casey ($9,500) has been a popular golfer for most of the season so far and this week should be no exception. He had a great ball-striking week at Pebble Beach. He was 15th and 16th in strokes gained off the tee and approach, respectively at last week’s U.S. Open but couldn’t get anything going on the greens. He wound up in 21st place. So far this year, he’s made 13 starts worldwide finishing in the top five on five occasions. Casey has also had plenty of success here (splits at TPC River Highlands below) which will only add to his ownership. He’s made four starts with two runner-ups and a top five finish. Casey’s worst effort at TPC River Highlands is a 17th-place finish in 2016.

GPP Plays

The highest ranked golfer in the model below $9,000 is RotoViz favorite Jason Kokrak ($8,300). His raw score of -1.27 gives him the fourth best score in the field, trailing only Patrick Cantlay ($11,300), Brooks Koepka ($11,800), and Justin Thomas ($9,800). Kokrak wasn’t in the field last week but has been playing well all year. He’s made 13 straight cuts including eight top 20s to start his 2019 campaign. He’s hitting more fairways and gaining more strokes on approach in 2019 than any stretch of this length in his career.

The guy right below Kokrak in the model is Tommy Fleetwood ($9,300). Granted, he has hit a bit of a lull over the past couple of times we saw him. He took about a month off after the PGA Championship and came back for last week’s U.S. Open. Fleetwood made the cut but finished outside the top 60 at Pebble last week. His approach game didn’t go anywhere, though. He gained more strokes last week than he had in any start dating back to his top five finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Both Fleetwood and Kokrak are in the -1.5 to -1 group in the raw score for the model. Golfers in that group, historically, have finished in the top 10 20% of the time. Two cheaper golfers that popped in the model this week are Sung Kang ($7,300) and Viktor Hovland ($7,900). I wrote about both Kang and Hovland in yesterday’s Yahoo article. Hovland is No. 11 in my model, so I’m quite bullish on him as we see the start to his career.

Nobody below $7,000 qualified in that group but we do have a couple of golfers that were close in Matt Jones ($6,900) and Colin Morikawa ($6,900). They fall into the group between -1 and -0.5 in the model. Historically, golfers in that bucket have found their way into the top 20 at a 25% clip. With a golfer below $7,000 you’re looking for a made cut and maybe a bonus of finding the top 20 so we’ll take it for a couple of GPP darts. Jones has played a bit of whack-a-mole with his game recently missing two of his last three cuts but has been averaging 63% GIR in 2019. Morikawa is another young gun who recently turned pro. He’s underpriced relative to his skill. He’s made both of his pro cuts and finished in 14th place at the RBC Canadian Open, a tournament with similar field strength.

The last guy I’ll mention this week is Matthew Wolff ($7,300). He’s another guy turning pro that has a lot of hype. Wolff peaked at No. 2 in the WAGR (World Amateur Golf Rankings) and dominated in college. He made 10 stroke play appearances in 2019 so far — including a made cut at the Waste Management in February — and had three collegiate wins to go along with a half dozen other top 15s. Wolff will be reasonably popular this week as the hype train is getting on the tracks with these young guns turning pro as we head into the summer.

Cash Locks

So far this season, the totals for the cash locks are 39/44 made cuts, 28/44 top 30s, and 14/44 top 10s. Here are this week’s cash locks:

  • Patrick Cantlay ($11,300)
  • Tommy Fleetwood ($9,300)

Ownership Projection and Model Results - Travelers Championship

Final run of ownership
NameDK$Ownership ProjectionModel Score
Brooks Koepka1180017.00.91
Patrick Cantlay1130018.51.00
Jordan Spieth1070010.50.74
Francesco Molinari1030013.60.69
Jason Day1000012.60.80
Justin Thomas980018.50.87
Paul Casey950028.00.80
Tommy Fleetwood930010.60.81
Bryson DeChambeau920014.40.71
Marc Leishman910013.50.68
Tony Finau900010.50.63
Bubba Watson890017.40.59
Louis Oosthuizen88009.20.70
Phil Mickelson87007.90.51
Brandt Snedeker86006.10.72
Patrick Reed85008.60.55
Chez Reavie840011.70.77
Jason Kokrak830015.20.82
Kevin Streelman820016.70.65
Charley Hoffman810015.30.61
Daniel Berger800012.70.58
Viktor Hovland790012.30.75
Emiliano Grillo790025.10.72
Byeong Hun An780014.40.69
Sungjae Im78007.90.64
Ryan Moore780013.70.60
Russell Knox770011.30.73
Kevin Kisner77009.00.59
Keegan Bradley770010.50.59
C.T. Pan76006.00.57
Adam Hadwin76009.70.70
Bud Cauley76008.00.66
Andrew Putnam76007.20.61
Lucas Glover75007.60.76
Russell Henley75005.20.58
Danny Lee75004.30.55
Joaquin Niemann75006.90.53
Si Woo Kim740010.50.61
Abraham Ancer74005.40.59
Kevin Tway74003.40.49
Chesson Hadley74004.20.48
Brian Harman74003.40.45
Sung Kang73005.20.76
Matthew Wolff73008.70.53
J.B. Holmes73003.30.49
Kyle Stanley73005.00.42
Beau Hossler73003.20.36
Max Homa72007.10.65
Nick Watney72001.70.60
Sebastian Munoz72004.50.59
Joel Dahmen72003.70.57
Kyoung-Hoon Lee72000.70.53
Cameron Smith72001.80.52
Harold Varner III71001.40.51
Troy Merritt71004.60.66
Dylan Frittelli71001.40.62
Mackenzie Hughes71006.10.59
Kiradech Aphibarnrat71001.60.56
Sepp Straka71004.90.51
J.T. Poston70000.60.58
Sam Burns70001.10.70
Aaron Baddeley70001.20.69
Brian Stuard70000.90.66
Peter Uihlein70001.60.55
Harris English70000.60.54
Martin Laird70000.30.54
Matt Jones69001.50.72
Collin Morikawa69004.20.71
Peter Malnati69002.60.67
Nick Taylor69001.00.60
Stephan Jaeger69001.00.45
Austin Cook69000.60.43
Anirban Lahiri69001.30.32
Jonas Blixt68001.30.72
Sam Ryder68001.40.61
Trey Mullinax68001.00.57
J.J. Spaun68000.80.56
Scott Stallings68000.60.54
Scott Brown68000.50.54
Cameron Champ68002.20.47
Alex Prugh68001.20.43
Hank Lebioda67004.20.57
Vaughn Taylor67001.40.68
Denny McCarthy67000.70.64
Cameron Tringale67003.90.60
Brian Gay67000.80.48
Ollie Schniederjans67001.90.44
Andrew Landry67000.70.36
Brendan Steele67001.30.23
Adam Schenk66000.50.60
Wes Roach66000.20.42
Curtis Luck66000.40.39
Robert Streb66000.20.35
Seamus Power66000.20.34
Sang-Moon Bae66000.20.30
Padraig Harrington66000.30.22
Satoshi Kodaira66000.4-0.01
Ben Silverman65000.40.50
Ryan Armour65001.90.55
Shawn Stefani65000.40.53
Josh Teater65000.20.52
Kramer Hickok65000.30.47
Brice Garnett65000.30.41
Tom Hoge65000.40.39
Kelly Kraft65000.30.36
Wyndham Clark64000.40.57
Chip McDaniel64000.30.55
Justin Suh64000.80.51
Adam Long64000.40.50
Carlos Ortiz64000.20.47
Chris Stroud64000.30.42
Tyler Duncan64000.10.41
Scott Langley64000.90.37
Patton Kizzire64000.40.30
Jose De Jesus Rodriguez63000.10.58
Roberto Diaz63000.10.49
Cameron Davis63000.20.47
Richy Werenski63000.20.46
Jim Knous63000.10.46
Ryan Blaum63000.10.44
Hunter Mahan63000.10.42
Joey Garber63000.10.35
Morgan Hoffmann63000.10.26
Brady Schnell62000.10.48
Nicholas Lindheim62000.10.47
Boo Weekley62001.40.46
Roger Sloan62000.10.45
Hudson Swafford62000.10.43
Julian Etulain62000.10.41
Bronson Burgoon62000.20.40
Brandon Harkins62000.30.36
Zack Sucher62000.70.36
Whee Kim61000.30.15
Michael Kim61000.10.42
Brandon Hagy61000.30.41
Sam Saunders61000.30.38
Fabian Gomez61000.10.33
Martin Trainer61000.30.27
Chris Thompson61000.30.24
Cody Gribble61000.10.21
Anders Albertson61000.10.07
Adam Svensson60000.20.43
Chase Wright60000.00.41
J.J. Henry60000.00.40
John Chin60000.00.26
Fredrik Jacobson60000.20.26
Kyle Jones60000.10.25
Jim Herman60000.00.25
Alex Cejka60000.20.24
Seth Reeves60000.00.23
Colt Knost60000.20.21
Ryan McCormick60000.00.20
Jim Renner60000.00.15
Rod Pampling60000.00.13
Image Credit: Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Patrick Cantlay.

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