This article is part of our PrizePicks Golf series.
PrizePicks offers a unique twist on DFS play in the form of Over/Under picks for individual players in almost every sport imaginable. You have the opportunity to pick two, three or four players per entry, and the goal is to predict whether the individual player will end up over or under the projected total PrizePicks provides. For PGA play, you are required to pick at least one Over and one Under play. The legend for scoring in this format is as follows:
|Double Eagle or Better||13|
|Double Bogey or Worse||-1|
Unlike your usual PGA DFS platforms, PrizePicks offers PGA gameplay on a per-round basis, not for an entire tournament. So, the projected totals you see today are for the individual rounds on Thursday, and once Thursday's round commences, you will see updated numbers for Friday, and so on.
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Today we'll be focusing on the opening round of the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, CT. Let's get right to it!
TPC River Highlands – Par 70, 6,840 yards
Low scores will abound on this layout, which is among the Tour's shortest courses. It's also one of the more forgiving TPC courses that you'll find, and after the postage stamp-sized greens of Pebble Beach last week, these greens will look gigantic by comparison. While length off the tee is always a plus, it isn't a necessity here. Your aim off the tee is to give yourself the best angle to approach the greens. Since it's a Par 70 course, there aren't a lot of Par 5 scoring opportunities, so we're ideally looking for a decent Par 4 numbers. One should expect a finishing score of 15 to 17-under here, with 4 to 6-under on Thursday as a real possibility. A look at course history reveals that no player likes this course more than Bubba Watson, who has won this tournament three times. I don't think this is a week to play the deft shot-shaper, however. His putting has been dreadful of late, and you need luck rolling the rock here.
Rain may creep into the forecast on Thursday although it's unclear when or how much we will see on the course. If you're struggling to make some selections, I'd look at the weather report and see which tee times will get the rain – if the greens get some moisture, they'll be primed for low numbers.
As is often the case, PrizePicks makes you work for the Overs, and this week is no exception. Assuming high numbers, we are provided with a 6-under requirement at the top of the slate, and around 4-under at the bottom. My usual strategy is to look at the bottom of the slate for the Overs, and the top of the slate for the Unders. This week, we may deviate from that tactic a bit.
Paul Casey – 20.5
Casey managed a 14-under score here last year and did it despite a meager 2-over round to finish out the weekend. He's made every cut on this course and came in 2nd place in two of those tournaments. He hits the sweet spot in almost all of our key categories, so it will all come down to how well Casey strokes the putter. His finesse around the greens has eluded him at times this season, and it will be the difference-maker Thursday. I think he can manage a 65 if he putts well.
Sungjae Im – 18.0
Im crushed the Over in the RBC Canadian Open with an opening-round 64, and he seems to do well on the Tour's more straightforward layouts. He ranks 7th on Tour in SG: Approach and does OK in our other categories, but he's another player who can let his putter betray him. Although he's in the Top 10 in SG-Putting and Total Putting, he's tended to go on some cold streaks. If he can stick it close, I think 4-under is a reasonable possibility on this layout.
Tommy Fleetwood – 19.5
Fleetwood is one of the usual suspects that you'll see come fast out of the gate. He skipped the Travelers last year, so we don't have any recent course data for the U.K. product, but he's been an all-around stat horse when it comes to the major categories this season. His overall hole proximity isn't going to wow you, but he's one of the more consistent players on Tour and can get out of trouble if he misses the green.
Brooks Koepka – 21.5
Brooks likes to party, and despite his potential ability to crush this course, I think he'll still be coming down from yet another excellent Major performance. Koepka has said in interviews that he gets BORED on layouts like these, so I have a hard time seeing him come out of the gate this strong on Thursday. Aside from his impressive Thursday in the PGA Championship, he hasn't shined in the opening round with much frequency. I confess that statistically, he's the favorite to win here, but the intangibles outdo those numbers for me.
Patrick Cantlay – 21.5
I expected Cantlay to look a lot sharper in the Open, but he busted his share of DFS lineups last week. I don't see a 6-under score popping out of him in the opening round this week despite his decent numbers in the key stats. His driving accuracy (159th) won't help his cause, nor will his approaches from 125-150 yards (100th). I think he's an extremely safe Under this week.
Jason Day – 20.0
Historically, Day doesn't hit the ground running and usually revs up in the second round, so he's immediately a guy I won't designate as an over in this format. His recent accuracy of the tee (114th) is concerning, as are his disappointing approach numbers. Despite a 12th place finish last year, he missed the cut in 2017 and has largely skipped this tournament in the past. He's had some decent finishes this year but hasn't been able to put together a lengthy string of decent rounds too often – especially on Thursdays.