Time for Davis to deliver

  • By: David John (Twitter: @SLifeDaveJohn)
  • Last Updated: June 19 2013, 6:16 BST

David John says Brian Davis can finally come good on the PGA Tour and win this week's Travelers Championship.

Davis: Can add his name to the list of first-time winners
Davis: Can add his name to the list of first-time winners

We move from Pennsylvania up to the north east of the United States and Connecticut for the Travelers Championship, an event that has become accustomed to throwing up first-time PGA Tour winners.

Five of the last seven players to prevail were losing their maiden tag and some good names have emerged too - Marc Leishman, Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan to name just three.

More on that later, as the field is headed by new US Open champ Justin Rose with punters having to weigh up the likelihood relative to his price of the Englishman going back-to-back.

There was an interesting Twitter snippet on Monday with tournament director Nathan Grube getting a call from Rose expecting him to withdraw.

However, it was his wife confirming that he will honour his comittment and tee it up on the back of the most momentous weekend of his golfing career.

Fair play to him and I do think he is as equipped as anyone on tour to deal with the media frenzy that will surround him but the draining mental and physical fatigue he will feel after putting everything into holding off Phil Mickelson down the stretch simply must take a toll at some stage during the week.

Interestingly, Rose was in pole position to win this event three years ago (fired a 62 in round two) until a closing 75 derailed him after a bad afternoon on the greens.

He ended up T9 and that was sandwiched in between wins at Memorial and the AT&T National so there is no doubt he can string big displays together in pretty quick succession.

But this would be a mighty effort to back-up even by those standards after last weekend's heroics and he is overlooked at the current 14/1 mark.

Perhaps his efforts can inspire compatriot Brian Davis to an overdue first success in the USA after a usual consistent run of form lately that has seen him make nine cuts out of 10.

Davis has a couple of top 10s in there as well, including at the Memorial recently, and I certainly get the impression it could be a little mental boost like seeing Rose come out on top that will finally get him over the line in first place.

He has posted T9-T4 here in 2011 and 2012 with his worst score in that run of eight rounds a level par 70.

He was right in the mix 12 months ago and the result could well have been much more positive but for a couple of missed short putts around the turn.

Neverthless, he toughed it out and said afterwards: "I hung in there and was very pleased with my temperament."

It was ultimately termperament that made the difference for Rose so now looks a likely time for Davis to put last year's experience to good use and play himself to a well deserved trophy.

I am quite keen on the chances of Chez Reavie at three-figure odds this week.

The sixth most accurate driver on tour currently this season could have thrived last week at Merion with his ability to keep out of the long grass but he missed the event and has the chance to return to the fray fresh and in quite a decent little run of form.

His last three outings have yielded T11-T21-T27 - his best spell yet of 2013 - and the return to the north east adds an interesting dimension to his prospects.

His lone win on tour back in 2008 came not far across the border in Ontario, Canada while he also has a play-off lost at the TPC Boston in the Deutsche Bank in 2011 just 90 minutes from Hartford.

Plenty of positive memories then and also a progressive profile on this course - which a couple of players say does take some knowing - with results of MC-68-T11, the latter coming 12 months ago.

Players with strong ties to the area don't come much better than Jerry Kelly and I think he could be on the premises as well at three-figure odds.

Kelly went to the University of Hartford back in the day and he has missed just one Travelers Championship under its various guises since 1996.

He has four top-15 finishes in total and I reckon he can post a really decent week considering he has enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence over the last 12 months.

Kelly puts that down to the classic rededication to the game and similarly to Reavie, he is statistically one of the most accurate drivers of the year so far on Tour.

His best result of the season was a T5 at Hilton Head and with the River Highlands layout placing less emphasis on muscle from the tee-box, Kelly should put his best foot forward.

James Driscoll has hit form at the right time after his best display of the season at the Memorial and can build on a T13 which was helped no end by a closing 67.

"I love this tournament. It is two hours from my home and always attended by a lot of my friends and family," the Bostonion explained which could be the reason why he has fired only one round over 70 in his last 16 attempts.

Unfortunately that 72 came 12 months ago when in the mix for the title but I am prepared to give him another chance at a venue where he clearly raises his performance.

All things considered, it does not take a huge leap of faith to see him adding his name to that list of recent first-time winners here.


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