Power Rankings: Travelers Championship
June 21, 2021
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- Bubba Watson is one to watch at the Travelers Championship. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
After the stress, decompress.
It’s valuable advice for anyone pursuing balance but it’s also the objective for the 56 golfers who made the cross-country trip from the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines to this week’s Travelers Championship. What they’ll find at TPC River Highlands is the easiest par 70 of the 2019-20 season.
So, the breeze you feel isn’t courtesy of Mother Nature, it’s the collective exhale as the PGA TOUR descends in central Connecticut. However, come the weekend, tension again will rise, as will the intensity of the wind. Scroll past the projected contenders for more.
POWER RANKINGS: TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Brooks Koepka, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith, Tony Finau and Joaquin Niemann will be among the notables reviewed in Tuesday’s Fantasy Insider.
The Travelers Championship is in the parade of checkpoints that have served as default anniversaries throughout the 2020-21 season. And it’s not insignificant for it was the 2020 edition that marked the first tournament that wasn’t canceled or rescheduled after the three-month shutdown due to the pandemic. So, if you were searching for an example of what life was like when is began to return to what we considered as normal, this is it.
Those in the field of 156 at TPC River Highlands also will reconnect with what they consider to be familiar.
There haven’t been any changes to the stock par 70 that tips at just 6,841 yards. The four-inch primary rough is the same and the 5,000-square foot greens blanketed with Poa annua will be prepped to run to a TOUR-popular distance of 12 feet on the Stimpmeter.
Last year’s scoring average of 68.626 represented a nine-year low and was aided by the deepest field in tournament history, but it already was headed in that direction.
After not breaking the strength-of-field rating threshold (as determined by the Official World Golf Ranking) of 350 through 2017, it climbed to 446 and 436 in 2018 and 2019, respectively, but last year’s value was 623. Of course, with all touring professionals sidelined for an extended period of time, playing opportunities were coveted throughout the summer. However, the consistent, fair test of TPC River Highlands continues to attract top talent.
Favorable weather conditions are in store throughout the tournament. Rain early in the week could impact the Hartford Yard Goats’ series opener on Tuesday night when the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies is planning to celebrate the Travelers Championship. By Thursday, clear and dry opening rounds of the tournament will be followed by the next threat of inclement weather on the weekend, but it’s forecast to be spotty as the winds kick up considerably. Daytime highs will be seasonable in the low 80s.
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous angles. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.
MONDAY: Power Rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers; Fantasy Insider
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.