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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS Course History - 2023 Travelers Championship

Patrick Cantlay - PGA DFS lineup picks daily fantasy golf

Hello, folks! Welcome back to "Horse For The Course." Wyndham Clark held off a superstar group of contenders that included Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, and Rickie Fowler at Los Angeles Country Club to win the 2023 U.S. Open. It was the first major championship win of Clark's career and his second victory on the PGA Tour in just over a month. Shoutout to my RotoBaller colleague Spencer Aguiar for his big hit on Clark! You guys should definitely be checking out Spencer's betting picks every week here at RB.

For the third time this year, the PGA Tour has designated the tournament directly following a major as an "elevated event". As a result, the vast majority of the world's top golfers will remain in action this week in the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands.

"Horse For The Course" is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week, check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our excellent PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!


2023 Travelers Championship

A long-standing and rock-solid fixture on the PGA Tour schedule, the popular Travelers Championship always draws a strong field to Cromwell, Connecticut. That rule of thumb is supercharged this week, as the Tour has designated the Travelers as an "elevated event", which means the vast majority of the game's top stars that were in the U.S. Open at LACC will hop on planes and travel across the country to tee it up again this week.

Defending Travelers champion Xander Schauffele will look to repeat against a stout field of competitors that includes Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, and Patrick Cantlay. It will be one of the best fields ever to tee it up at TPC River Highlands, which isn't a huge surprise when considering there's a massive $20 million prize pool at stake this week.

I won't even attempt to make the argument that this week's TPC River Highlands layout is one of the best courses in the world, but the relatively short Pete Dye layout is a tried-and-true layout that's always lots of fun. Throw in this year's souped-up field and this should be an awesome PGA DFS slate to help us come down from last week's U.S. Open.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. Be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!


The Course: TPC River Highlands

Par 70 - 6,841 Yards, Greens: Bent/Poa Mix, Designed By: Pete Dye

TPC River Highlands is a course with Pete Dye's fingerprints all over it. Its most famous stretch of holes (#'s 15-17) is played AROUND a huge 4-acre lake, which is very on-brand for the legendary Dye.

While the course can be tricky, we will still see plenty of birdies this week, as TPC River Highlands relinquished the only 58 in PGA Tour history to Jim Furyk a few years ago. That said, I would stop just short of calling this event a pure birdie-fest, as the average winning score over the past five years has been 17-under par, and over the last 10 years no winner has finished at 20-under par or lower.

At just over 6,800 yards this is one of the shorter tracks on the schedule, but players won't necessarily be able to overpower this course, as the layout requires less than driver off the tee in multiple spots. I'll be targeting sharp ball strikers with complete skill sets that can pile up birdies this week.


Recent Travelers Winners & Scoring Info

  • 2022: Xander Schauffele (-19)
  • 2021: Harris English (-13)
  • 2020: Dustin Johnson (-19)
  • 2019: Chez Reavie (-17)
  • 2018: Bubba Watson (-17)
  • Average Winning Score Last Five Years: -17


The Horse

Patrick Cantlay 

  • Event Scoring Average: 67.96 (Eight career starts) 
  • Notable Course History: T13 (2022), T13 ('21), T11 ('20), T15 ('19), T15 ('18)
  • DraftKings Price: $10,200 FanDuel Price: $11,800

The UCLA product has a long history with the Travelers Championship, recording a round of 60 at TPC River Highlands as an amateur way back in 2011. Cantlay has been a consistent presence in this event over the last few years and has now logged top-15 results in five consecutive Travelers appearances while amassing an impressive career scoring average of 67.96 at the Connecticut layout. Cantlay's T13 in last year's edition doesn't really do justice to how well he played, as a weird final-round 76 undid his beautiful work of the first three days (64-67-63).

The 31-year-old heads to the 2023 edition of the Travelers on the heels of another major championship appearance without a win, although he did grind out a solid T14 result at LACC after a sluggish start. While Cantlay's results in the majors have been better of late, there's little arguing that he's slowly evolving into golf's version of James Harden...a regular-season superstar that has no trouble piling up elite stats in random Tuesday night games against the Washington Wizards but struggles when a Game 7 rolls around in the playoffs.

Cantlay has shown that he can beat elite fields with his FedEx Cup-winning run in 2021 and victories at the Memorial. He just hasn't been able to do so in the ratcheted-up environment of a major championship. Luckily for him, he's in his comfort zone this week, as the friendly layout of TPC River Highlands is the equivalent of a regular-season home game against the Indiana Pacers for Cantlay. Let the stat padding begin.


The Ponies

Xander Schauffele

  • Event Scoring Average: 67.29 (Four career starts)
  • Notable Course History: Win ('22), T20 ('20), T14 ('17)
  • DraftKings Price: $10,400 FanDuel Price: $11,600

The well-worn trope in the PGA DFS community is that Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay are essentially the "same guy". While it's probably a pretty lazy comparison, there's also a ribbon of truth running through it, as like Cantlay, Schauffele has failed to win a major but has consistently scooped up wins in upper-tier PGA Tour events, including last year's Travelers Championship.

After a blistering opening-round 62 at LACC last week, Xander's 2023 U.S. Open ended as so many other editions have for him, ie, a good enough finish (T10 in this specific case) for his backers to feel ok about what he did and tell themselves that "X will get 'em next time."

Because Schauffele never really plays bad, DFS players never really get off him. So, we can expect his ownership to be high yet again on this Travelers slate, as he comes in with an elite DFS floor, the great aforementioned form, and Cantlay-like course history that includes a win last year, as well as two additional top-20s in four career trips to TPC River Highlands.


Russell Henley

  • Event Scoring Average: 68.11 (Five career starts)
  • Notable Course History: T19 ('21), T32 ('20), T6 ('18), T11 ('16)
  • DraftKings Price: $7,800  FanDuel Price: $9,500

There are a lot of similarities in this week's highlighted players, as Russell Henley sort of feels like the older, not-quite-as-talented, less-promising version of the Cantlay/Schauffele duo.

The 34-year-old Henley was once upon a time projected to be a superstar, but after some ups and downs with his game, he has comfortably settled into the role of being a mid-tier, pro's pro on the PGA Tour. Because of his lack of firepower off the tee (134th in Travelers field in Driving Distance L50) Henley isn't going to find the winner's circle on a frequent basis, but he's going to consistently give us rock-solid performances thanks to his often-elite-level ball striking.

That said, this short TPC River Highlands, with its multiple forced layups off the tee, plays beautifully into Henley's hands. He will be able to utilize his precision off the tee (first in field Fairways Gained L50) and sharp iron play (sixth SG: APP L24) to actually compete for a win this week.


Did you know RotoBaller has a Premium DFS PGA subscription? Like what you read today? You can show your support for Joe by using the discount code NICE when purchasing a PGA Premium Pass. You get 10% off and full access to all of our Premium PGA articles, DFS tools, and Lineup Optimizer! You also get access to weekly betting picks from Spencer Aguiar, one of the top betting minds in the industry.


Brian Harman

  • Event Scoring Average: 68.39 (12 career starts)
  • Notable Course History: T8 ('22) T5 ('21), T8 ('19), T6 ('18), T3 ('15)
  • DraftKings Price: $7,500 FanDuel Price: $9,100

With Bubba Watson now on the LIV tour, I suppose Brian Harman slides into the "you always have to consider him at Travelers, no matter his form" role that Watson occupied for so long.

The diminutive lefty doesn’t fit the “elite” mold of some others in this week's article, but Harman has been nothing short of remarkable in his previous Travelers Championships starts.

The light-hitting veteran leads this week’s elite field in Strokes Gained: Total (+36.61) at TPC River Highlands since 2018 and has finished T8 or better at Travelers in four of the last five years. Harman comes into this year’s edition off one of his more encouraging outings of 2023 last week at the U.S. Open, where he gained four strokes on Approach and flirted with contention early, before ultimately settling for a T43.


Mark Hubbard

  • Event Scoring Average: 68.85 (Five career starts)
  • Notable Course History: T46 ('22), T13 ('21), T37 ('20), 
  • DraftKings Price: $6,900 FanDuel Price: $8,100

We'll round out this week's HFTC with the man without a home, Mark Hubbard. "Homeless Hubbs" has looked comfortable in his previous layovers in Connecticut, making the cut in all five of his starts in the Travelers while amassing a 68.85 career scoring average at TPC River Highlands.

Hubbard's lack of length is often a severe handicap at many courses on the PGA Tour schedule, but it won't be a huge issue this week. He heads to this year's Travelers with the rest of his game firing at full steam. The irons have been especially hot as of late.

The journeyman ranks second in this elite Travelers field in SG: APP (L24). That precise iron play has led to some of the best finishes of his career in recent months, as he's now run off seven straight made cuts and posted top-10 results in two of his last three starts. He stands out as a terrific value play on this star-studded slate.


Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big.

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