Travelers Championship: Another First Time Winner in 2015?

Graham DeLaet, of Canada, watches his sand shot on the third hole in his match against Patrick Reed during the first round of the Match Play Championship golf tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Marana, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

If you’re a young stud on the PGA Tour who has yet to claim a win, you might consider getting into the Travelers Championship. The Hartford, CT tour stop seems to produce them quite often.

Maybe there’s something in the water?

The Travelers has produced a first-time winner in six out of the last nine years, including a stretch of four straight years from 2010-2013.

Those collecting their first wins were J.J. Henry (2006), Hunter Mahan (2007), Bubba Watson (2010), Frederick Jacobson (2011) , Marc Leishman (2012) and Ken Duke in 2013.

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This year, the PGA Tour is loaded with guys looking for career win No. 1 — and many of them have found their way to Hartford this weekend.

Here are five guys who could be hoisting the trophy this week:


Justin Thomas GolfWeek
Justin Thomas relaxes at home. Source: Golf Week

Tony Finau – Fresh off an impressive T-14 at the U.S. Open, Tony Finau is a player whose name is on everyone’s lips this week in Hartford.

Armed with prodigious length and deft touch, Finau will be a multiple-time PGA Tour winner some day, but for now, he’s still looking for win No. 1.

TPC River Highlands — the site of the Travelers Championship — has a reputation for rewarding length off the tee, making this an ideal place for a guy like Finau to breakthrough.

Justin Thomas  – While he’s cooled a bit recently, Justin Thomas is another name you’ll soon be hearing more of. A lot more of, actually.

One of Jordan Spieth’s chief rivals in college, Thomas has already proven that he’s got what it takes to be successful at this level. He was one bad swing away from capturing the Humana Challenge early this year and has collected five top-10’s on the campaign.

Patrick Rodgers – While it isn’t probable, there’s still a chance that Patrick Rodgers could win this week in Hartford.

Rodgers is probably the least polished on the guys on this list, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the firepower to compete this week.

Historically, the track at TPC River Highlands yields a couple extremely low rounds to start the week. If Rodgers can provide one of those, he could ride that momentum and  best that runner-up finish at the Wells Fargo Championship and take 2015 from a good year to a great year. 

patrick rodgers pgatour
Source: PGA Tour

Graham DeLaet – Probably the most polished pro on this list is Graham DeLaet.

Experts — including myself – have been calling for DeLaet to win his first event for what seems like forever now. For some reason, however, the Canadian talent just hasn’t gotten it done.

DeLaet has collected 19 top-1o finishes since 2012, including three runner-up finishes.

Peter Uihlein –  Former amateur world No. 1., Peter Uihlein hasn’t had the success many predicted he would — yet.

He’s only made two starts on the PGA Tour this year, but one of those yielded a T-4 finish at the Sanderson Farms Championship. He knows how winning at the highest level feels having collected a win on the European Tour in Portugal two years ago.

In two career starts at the Travelers — including as a 16-year-old — Uihlein has a missed cut and a T-57.

Could this be the week that one of these players collects PGA Tour win No. 1? History certainly suggests somebody will.


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Written by BP Staff


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