Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele will tee off in the final group
Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele will tee off in the final group

Golf betting tips: Final round preview of the Travelers Championship

Martin Mathews previews the final round of the Travelers Championship and has a couple of Sunday bets to consider closely.

Golf betting tips: Travelers Championship final round

2pts win Patrick Cantlay in Travelers Championship at 6/4 (Unibet)

2pts Webb Simpson top-five finish in in Travelers Championship at 11/4 (Paddy Power, Betfair)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

Heading into the weekend at the Travelers Championship it looked like we might be in for a procession to victory as Xander Schauffele had produced flawless golf over the first two days to open up a five-shot lead.

As we know, though, winning on any stage is never easy and after an up and down 67 on Saturday Schauffele finds himself on 17-under and with his lead reduced to one heading into Sunday.

On Thursday and Friday Schauffele had the ball on a string from tee to green, gaining over eight shots in this department in back-to-back 63s, however on Saturday the pressure of not having won on a solo basis on the PGA Tour in three and a half years looked to be starting to get to him, particularly on 13 where he splayed his tee shot way right into the water.

With the baggage of plenty of near misses since that last solo win at the Sentry ToC, and having failed to convert any of his previous four 54-hole leads on the PGA Tour, it is going to take a big effort from the 28-year-old to close things out today, and he is not for me at short odds.

To be fair to Schauffele, although he hasn’t won solo on the PGA Tour since 2019 he does have the small matter of an Olympic Gold medal in his locker since then, and in addition he did bag the title at the Zurich Classic pairs' event a couple of months ago alongside his close buddy PATRICK CANTLAY and, as fate would have it, it is Cantlay who poses the biggest threat to him today.

Cantlay, who had started Saturday five back of his playing partner cruised round TPC River Highlands in a fairly effortless, best of the day 63, and he now sits on his friends shoulder one back and ready to pounce.

The 20/21 Fedex Cup champion is winless on a solo basis this season so far, however having lost out in two play offs at Phoenix and Hilton Head there have certainly been signs another victory is coming.

After a stuttering Friday everything clicked for Cantlay on Saturday in the long game department as he gained over five and a half shots from tee to green, and if he can maintain this and hole his share with a putter, which has been lukewarm since the opening day, he looks perfectly positioned and I am happy to get on board at the odds.

While it would be easy to frame this as a dual between the two close friends at the top of the leaderboard, on a course that yields low scores there are plenty tucked in behind the Californian pair who may well yet have something to say in the outcome, starting with rookie superstar in the making Sahith Theegala.

Theegala, whose only blemish on his round on Saturday came at his final hole, shot a superb 64 to vault into contention and sit on 14-under and three back heading in to Sunday.

It has been a superb debut campaign for the 24-year-old and having already held the 54-hole lead twice on tour this season he is fast getting used to being in the heat of the battle on Sunday.

On the most recent occasion at Phoenix on a leaderboard littered with big names including Cantlay, Schuaffele and eventual winner Scottie Scheffler, Theegala held himself together superbly before finally missing out on the play off by one shot after coming undone when he found water on the driveable 17th.

Starting today outside of the final pairing, and in a position of chasing, might just suit his aggressive nature, and it would not be a huge shock should he upset the two big names ahead of him.

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In an event that has seen only two of the last ten 54-hole leaders triumph and two winners come from six back and one from four back on Sunday over the same period, others to consider are Kevin Kisner who starts four back on 13-under and who leads the field in putting this week, along with recent Byron Nelson winner KH Lee and Martin Laird who start a further shot back on 12-under.

Meanwhile the group on 11-under includes amateur Michael Thorbjornsen whose reward for a superb performance this week is a final day tee time along side former US Open Champion Webb Simpson.

Ultimately, though, with layers only offering two each-way places this morning it will be tough for those starting from off the pace to break into the places and I will therefore stick with one outright win bet on Cantlay and instead turn to the top-five market and the aforementioned WEBB SIMPSON for a second bet of the day.

Simpson, who struggled with injury earlier in the year has shown signs of an upturn of late and as a player who has thrived on shorter par 70 tracks over his career TPC River Highlands is a perfect venue for him to continue that progress.

This week his long game has been in fine fettle and having hit all 14 fairways and 17 of 18 greens yesterday it was only his putter that prevented him from going really low and getting right in the hunt.

Starting today in seventh on 11-under and one place out of the top five, Simpson will be determined to post his first top five finish of the season and add as many Fedex Cup points as possible to his current fragile ranking of 122nd.

In addition, he will know that with some spots now having ‘opened up’ if he can really take off over the next few months and catch Davis Love’s eye, a place in the presidents Cup team on his home course at Quail Hollow later in the year may still be a possibility.

To sum up then, it's Cantlay to bag the win and Simpson for a strong final day push in what looks to be a fascinating final round's action.

Posted at 1015 BST on 26/06/22

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