Power Rankings: Travelers Championship
June 19, 2017
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
Inside the PGA TOUR
2017 Travelers Championship previewA star-studded field, comes to TPC River Highlands for the 66th playing of the Travelers Championship, where last year, history was made when Jim Furyk shot a final round 58. Rory McIlroy will make his tournament debut in Connecticut when he tees it up Thursday.
Beginning at this time last year and extending two months, the customary lineup of PGA TOUR events was thrown off kilter to accommodate the Olympics. The first tournament affected was the Travelers Championship. It was shifted from its traditional date the week after the U.S. Open to the first week of August. Now, with the Olympics beginning its three-year hiatus, it's back to business as usual in Cromwell, Connecticut.
Taking advantage of the extra few weeks since the 2015 edition, TPC River Highlands underwent a makeover in advance of last year's contest. Greens, bunkers and trees were targets of the renovation. The scorecard, however, was not, nor was overall scoring. More on this beneath the ranking.
TPC River Highlands remains a stock par 70 at 6,841 yards. It hosts 156 golfers who will be attempting to avoid four-inch rough and tackle bentgrass greens ready to run 12 feet on the Stimpmeter.
Defending champion Russell Knox, Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson and Jim Furyk are among the notables who will appear in Tuesday's Fantasy Insider.
Despite all of the modifications, TPC River Highlands yielded a scoring average (69.668) last year in line with its recent history. Not unlike last week's objective at Erin Hills, playing from the shortest grass here will be a popular narrative for those who score well, but unlike the U.S. Open, it's not a prerequisite to thrive at the Travelers Championship. As The Confidence Factor on Tuesday will illustrate, those who will contend should rank among the best on approach and around the greens.
Last year's greens-in-regulation split of 68.87 percent (or 12.4 per round) was a five-year high, but its birdie-or-better percentage of 26.23 slotted 11th-lowest among all courses in 2015-16. Further emphasizing the value of finding the putting surfaces averaging 5,500 square feet, last year's field got up and down just 55.69 percent of the time, a nine-year low.
Seasonable conditions are forecast throughout the tournament. Daytime highs will reach the mid-80s. The threat of rain and perhaps a boomer enters the picture on Friday and lingers into the weekend. As usual with the energy, winds may kick up and affect a segment of the field.
ROB BOLTON’S WRITING SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Columnist Rob Bolton will be filing his usual staples leading up to this week’s event. Look for the following columns this week.
MONDAY: Rookie Ranking, Qualifiers, Reshuffle, Medical Extensions, Power Rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, The Confidence Factor, Fantasy Insider
WEDNESDAY: One & Done
THURSDAY: Ownership Percentages in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf and One & Done presented by SERVPRO
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf presented by SERVPRO, which also publishes on Tuesdays.