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Travelers Championship DFS picks 2023: Collin Morikawa is back

June 20, 2023
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 18: Collin Morikawa of the United States plays his shot from the sixth tee during the final round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 18, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

TPC River Highlands gets the elevated treatment this year and earns a cast of some of the best golfers on the planet. They will tackle the shortest par-70 on the schedule, checking in at barely over 6,800 yards.

This course provides options and doesn’t have one single blueprint for success. That’s why we’ve seen a diverse list of champions over the years. The only consistencies are the results themselves. This course tends to be very “sticky” in terms of course history, with golfers generally having the same success or failure year after year.

Here are the players who have my interest—and those who certainly don’t—this week at the 2023 Travelers Championship

Golfers I'm Definitely Playing

Patrick Cantlay ($10,200 DraftKings | $11,800 FanDuel)

Cantlay started slow last week in Los Angeles, but rallied and finished T-14. Now he returns to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands where he’s piled up five straight top-15 finishes. His 1.40 strokes gained per round at TPC River Highlands is the third-most of anyone in this field with at least 20 rounds played, per the RickRunGood.com golf database.

Collin Morikawa ($9,500 DraftKings | $11,100 FanDuel)

Morikawa is … (dare I say it?) … back! It was back spasms that forced him to WD before the final round of the Memorial, but I’m talking about his form. He’s back to being an elite iron player, something that lives in his DNA. Over the last 36 rounds, Morikawa has gained 1.17 strokes per round on approach—the second-most in this field behind just Scottie Scheffler.

Hideki Matsuyama ($8,600 DraftKings | $9,900 FanDuel)

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David Cannon

Speaking of elite approach play, enter Hideki Matsuyama who might be the most mispriced golfer on the slate. Though he is priced with struggling and slumping peers, Matsuyama is trending upward. He’s gained multiple strokes on approach in six straight starts including a staggering 8.6 at LACC. He’ll make his debut at TPC River Highlands this week., which might not be a bad thing.

Russell Henley ($7,800 DraftKings | $9,500 FanDuel)

There might not be another course on the schedule that sets up better for Henley than TPC River Highlands. This is a test of precision, not power which plays right into the hands of Henley. He’s never lost strokes on approach in five trips to this course and has three top-20 finishes during that run.

Mark Hubbard ($6,900 DraftKings | $8,100 FanDuel)

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Eston Parker/ISI Photos

A well-rested Hubbard didn’t battle in Los Angeles for the U.S. Open, so he’s coming off a T-6 finish at the Canadian Open—his second top 10 in his past three starts. He’s on a marvelous run with his irons and wedges, gaining 31.06 strokes on approach in his last six starts, per the RickRunGood.com golf database. He’s never missed a cut in five trips to Cromwell, Conn, for the Travelers Championship.

Golfers I Might Play

Tony Finau ($9,700 DraftKings | $10,900 FanDuel)

Finau flashed greatness last week in Los Angeles before finishing T-32 at the U.S Open. He looks strong with his approach play, gaining 5.45 strokes last week and now gaining in that category for 15 of his last 16 starts. That’s the part of his game that drives success as he looks to improve on a T-13 finish at TPC River Highlands from last year.

Tom Kim ($8,100 DraftKings | $9,600 FanDuel)

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Sean M. Haffey

It’s been a disappointing year for Kim, but TPC River Highlands could be the fix he needs. This is a course that won’t require distance and will reward precision—the ideal setup for Kim. He gained strokes on approach in each round last week on his way to a T-8 finish. That should be building plenty of confidence as he heads to Connecticut.

Brian Harman ($7,500 DraftKings | $9,100 FanDuel)

Harman started hot last week en route to a T-43 finish, but now he heads to his real major. Harman has soared at TPC River Highlands, earning four top-eight finishes in his last five trips. He has gained 2.05 strokes per round since 2018—the most of anyone on tour with at least 11 rounds played at TPC River Highlands.

Harry Hall ($6,700 DraftKings | $7,600 FanDuel)

Hall has made three cuts in a row for only the second time this season. During that run, he finished T-3 at the Charles Schwab Challenge and is starting to show slight improvements with his long game. That’s great news considering his short game is one of the best on tour. If he can continue those improvements, this is a course that should set up well for him.

Austin Eckroat ($7,300 DraftKings | $8,400 FanDuel)

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MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Eckroat is putting together the best golf of his young career, earning a T-10 last week in Los Angeles—his third top 20 in his last four starts. His advanced metrics are eye-popping, led by top tier ball-striking and a putter that generally cooperates.

Golfers I'm Fading

Wyndham Clark ($9,200 DraftKings | $10,100 FanDuel)

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Ezra Shaw

After Clark’s win at the Wells Fargo Championship, he missed the cut in his next start at the PGA Championship. I don’t fault him for that, it’s incredibly difficult to refocus and play well after a life-changing event. That goes for Clark again this week after a monster victory in Los Angeles and now one of the highest prices we’ve ever seen for his services. There will be plenty of great opportunities for Clark later in the year, no reason to “buy high” now.

Max Homa ($8,900 DraftKings | $10,400 FanDuel)

Homa’s missed cut last week adds to a string of disappointing play where he simply hasn’t been the golfer that he was to start 2023. In terms of “get right” spots, this is not the place Homa wants to enter with any questions in his game. He’s teed it up four times in his career in Cromwell and has failed to make the cut in any of them.

Sungjae Im ($8,700 DraftKings | $9,800 FanDuel)

This has been a shockingly bad stretch of golf for Im who has missed three of his last four cuts. His tee-to-green game is usually sound, but he’s lost multiple strokes in that category for each of those MCs. He’s so far off his baseline that I’ll need to see some signs of life before investing again.

Denny McCarthy ($7,600 DraftKings | $9,200 FanDuel)

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Ross Kinnaird

I’m incredibly bullish on McCarthy moving forward, but I’m approaching with caution this week. TPC River Highlands has a very “sticky” course history, meaning that golfers tend to have similar results (good or bad) year after year. McCarthy has failed to crack the top 40 in five trips.

Davis Riley ($6,900 DraftKings | $8,200 FanDuel)

If you remove the team victory with Nick Hardy at the Zurich Classic, the stat profile for Riley is so bad that you wonder how those two got across the finish line. In his last seven events (with Zurich in the middle), Riley has missed the cut or withdrew in six of them. His best finish was a T-54 at the Memorial where he lost nearly five strokes off-the-tee.