Day, Leishman, Goss feature in Hartford
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2014 Travelers Championship | Preview | 18 Jun 2014
The PGA Tour gets back to its regular schedule this week when the Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands near Hartford is played in its now traditional time slot immediately following the US Open.
The event might come on top of some of the bigger events on the PGA Tour but it has still attracted a field that includes four of the current world top ten in the world.
Bubba Watson will start as the favourite given his outstanding record in the event with a win, a runner-up and a 4th place finish in three of his last four starts. Watson lost his way somewhat at Pinehurst last week but that aside he has been in great form this season with a win at Riviera and Augusta National and a 3rd place finish at the Memorial. All roads point to Watson contending a possibly winning again over a golf course that seems to suit.
Jason Day has played this event only once previously that coming in his first season on the PGA Tour in 2008. He finished 27th then but now as one of the game’s elite he has the chance to improve on that effort especially given his great week last week at Pinehurst showed he is over any injury issues.
Matt Kuchar seems to tee it up nearly every week, or at least it seems that way, and on most occasions he contends. Kuchar has seldom played this event but the last time he did two years ago he finished 8th and is a much improved golfer now.
Sergio Garcia will play the TPC Highlands for just the third occasion in his career. He has done ok in his previous starts here with six of his eight rounds in the 60’s.
After good weeks in Houston and Sawgrass Garcia has been a little below top form in recent starts but he is all class at his best and might find some of that this week.
Keegan Bradley did well last week when sharing 4th at Pinehurst and has improved in each of the three starts he has had in this event. He might just be a player to contend at slightly longer odds.
Another at slightly longer odds is Ryan Moore who seems to grow another leg when playing this event. Moore has been twice runner-up over this layout and was 7th last year and has done well enough of late for that record to continue.
Marc Leishman won this event two years ago and as doing well last year before a last round of 73. Leishman has not played for three weeks but did finish third in Dallas recently. He is likely to be inspired on returning to a venue that saw perhaps his greatest moment in the game to date.
The list of Australasians in the field is long including Day and Leishman. Aaron Baddeley had a good week last week at Pinehurst and he will be joined by Matt Jones, Stuart Appleby, Greg Chalmers, Scott Gardiner, Bronson La Cassie, Oliver Goss and New Zealanders, Danny Lee and Tim Wilkinson.
The week represents a big moment in the career of 20 year old Oliver Goss. The West Australian has turned professional after exhausting his starts at the Masters and the US open which came as a result of his runner up finish at last year’s US Amateur. By making the cut and being the leading amateur at Augusta National Goss gave a hint of what might lie ahead and he will play this week and the next two PGA Tour events by invite.