Travelers Golf preview
You just wonder what the fall-out will be from the US Open when several of the golfers so recently involved in such a severe examination of their talents peg it up again for the Travelers Championship.
With huge crowds cheering them on at the Connecticut venue – something like 70,000 are expected on Sunday alone – lack of adrenalin won’t be a problem even for the players in the thick of the action on the final day at Merion.
But you do wonder not only whether Justin Rose (16/1 joint favourite with Coral) will be able to bring along his ‘A’ game so soon after his life-changing exploits and the media attention that has accompanied it, but also whether someone like course specialist Hunter Mahan (also 16/1) can recover so quickly after the disappointment of missing out on his first major.
Perhaps it will be players who did okay in the US Open without coming away deflated who will have an edge this week – players like Jason Dufner (18/1), who signed off with such a flourish, and Lee Westwood (20/1), who dropped out of contention on day two, but played nicely at the weekend to finish in the top ten.
Or maybe somebody who wasn’t involved at all at Merion, which, though almost 800 yards shorter than the Cromwell lay-out, is a different test altogether, more conducive to long hitting. While beating par was an event in itself last week, scores in the low 60s are almost the norm at the Travelers – last year Marc Leishman shot a 62 to record his first PGA victory.
So Harris English (40/1), who didn’t play in the US Open, but won the St Jude Classic the week before, comes into calculations, as do many of the less familiar American names (offered by Coral at all sorts of fancy prices), one or more of whom invariably make their presence felt on a weekly basis on the PGA tour.
Another to consider seriously is our own Brian Davis, who shared the lead going into the final day 12 months ago. This is a course that suits him and he has been in decent form this summer.
Davis looks ready to give it a good shot and he makes plenty of each way appeal to gain his first tour victory at 66/1 outright. 7/1 to be top Englishman looks a good shout, too.
Rose is being tipped by many of the old pros and commentators to go on and win more majors now that the first one is finally in the bag. Coral price the 32-year-old at 8/1 to win one of the two remaining majors this year – the Open and the PGA – and that might attract more interest than the 11/4 offered about Tiger Woods and 6/1 Rory McIlroy following their poor showings at Merion.
Written by Jon Freeman