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Travelers Championship 2022 picks, predictions, field, favorites, odds: Top golf expert says back Rory McIlroy

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 6/23/2022 CBS Sports Staff
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The PGA Tour season's third major is in the books, and the stretch run is right over the horizon as many of the tour's top golfers get set to play in the 2022 Travelers Championship. The short trip over to TPC River Highlands near Hartford, Conn., brought many players from the U.S. Open, played last week in Brookline, Mass. Five of the top 11 golfers in the world, including top-ranked Scottie Scheffler, are in the 2022 Travelers field to prepare for the British Open at St. Andrews (July 14-17). All five players – Scheffler, No. 2 Rory McIlroy, No. 6 Patrick Cantlay, No. 9 Sam Burns and 11th-ranked Jordan Spieth – also are scheduled to play in the Scottish Open from July 6-10. This week, they will take on a short Pete Dye layout that has yielded a ton of low scores, including Jim Furyk's PGA Tour-record 58 in the final round of the 2016 Travelers. Harris English beat Kramer Hickok on the eighth playoff hole last year after both finished at 13 under par.

McIlroy, who followed his Canadian Open win two weeks ago with a T-5 at the U.S. Open, is the 10-1 favorite in the latest 2022 Travelers Championship golf odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Scheffler (11-1), Cantlay (16-1), Burns (18-1), Xander Schauffele (20-1) and Spieth (25-1) are also among the favorites in the Travelers Championship 2022 field. Before you lock in your 2022 Travelers Championship picks or make any PGA Tour predictions, you need to see what proven golf insider Sal Johnson has to say.

The esteemed golf insider has been around the game for many years and knows what it takes to win on the PGA Tour.

And in last week's picks for the 2022 U.S. Open, he nailed Matt Fitzpatrick winning at Brookline. "He is very close to putting it all together and winning for the first time on the PGA Tour," Johnson said. "What better place to do it than on the course where he won the 2013 Amateur?"

Fitzpatrick relied on his course knowledge and unflappable nature to post a final-round 68 to hold off Masters champion Scheffler and many of the tour's top players. It was the Englishman's first PGA Tour title, and Johnson saw it coming.

The expert also knows what is required to win at TPC River Highlands. Before last year's Travelers, he pegged Harris English as one of his top contenders. "The course is good for his game," Johnson said, noting that he was coming in off a third-place finish in the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. 

Before the PGA Championship, Johnson predicted that if Thomas made his putts, he could definitely win. Thomas had his best week of the season on the greens, gaining more than 1.5 strokes putting to rank second in the field. The result? He beat Will Zalatoris in a playoff to win his second Wanamaker Trophy.    

In his previous set of predictions for SportsLine, Johnson was all over Scheffler and nailed the Masters winner for the third time in four years. Anyone who has followed Johnson's picks his way up.

Now Johnson, the first producer of "Inside the PGA Tour" and longtime ABC Sports golf producer who worked with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, has released his highly confident 2022 Travelers Championship (see tickets at StubHub) picks. The picks from the founder of, the world's top golf statistics database, will definitely surprise you. You can only see them at SportsLine.

Top 2022 Travelers Championship expert picks

Simply put, the golf stats expert knows the numbers point to success for McIlroy. The Northern Irishman has been hitting it as well as anyone the past few years and is starting to see results. He has two victories this season and has finished in the top 10 in all three majors. He has seven top-10's in 11 tour events overall and comes in with a lot of momentum. The 33-year-old is still crushing the ball, ranking third in driving distance (319.1 yards), and hitting it straight enough (110th in accuracy, 10th in total driving) to contend this weekend in Hartford. 

The expert also knows Burns has a reputation for wayward drives, but it shouldn't derail him this week. The course is forgiving, and the 25-year-old is 115th in accuracy off the tee but is 30th in total driving, so he also hits it straight enough. He hits lasers to the greens (fifth in regulation) and breaks par as often as anyone (fifth in par breakers), so he can succeed at River Highlands. He has three wins and runner-up this season, and he has improved each time out at the Travelers. He was 43rd in 2019, finished 24th the following year and was 13th in 2021.

How to make 2022 Travelers Championship golf picks

For this week at TPC River Highlands, Johnson is backing a massive long shot who comes in at around 50-1. Johnson knows this golfer is having his worst season in the past several years, but he always seems to find his form when he gets to TPC River Highlands. He could pull off a stunning result, and you can cash in huge if he does. You can only find out who it is, and get the rest of Johnson's Travelers picks, at SportsLine.

Who wins the 2022 Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands this week? Where do Rory McIlroy and Sam Burns finish? And which massive long shot is a must-back? Check out the odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Sal Johnson's full leaderboard, picks and analysis for the 2022 Travelers Championship, all from the insider who is tuned in to what it takes to win on the PGA Tour, and find out.

2022 Travelers Championship odds, field, top contenders

Rory McIlroy +1000

Scottie Scheffler +1100

Patrick Cantlay +1600

Sam Burns +1800

Xander Schauffele +2000

Jordan Spieth +2500

Tony Finau +2800

Joaquin Niemann +3000

Davis Riley +3500

Sungjae Im +3500

Keegan Bradley +3500

Tommy Fleetwood +4000

Seamus Power +4000

Brooks Koepka +4000

Aaron Wise +4000

Brian Harman +4500

Mito Pereira +5000

Marc Leishman +5000

Harold Varner +5000

Webb Simpson +5500

Denny McCarthy +5500

Russell Henley +6000

Jason Day +6000

Keith Mitchell +6500

Brendan Steele +6500

Christiaan Bezuidenhout +6500

Jason Kokrak +6500

Maverick McNealy +7000

Aaron Rai +8000

Si-Woo Kim +8000

Kevin Kisner +8000

Brendon Todd +8000

Cameron Tringale +8000

Kyoung-Hoon Lee +9000

Joel Dahmen +9000

Mackenzie Hughes +9000

C.T. Pan +9000

Harris English +10000

Adam Long +10000

Sahith Theegala +10000

Wyndham Clark +10000

Nick Hardy +10000

Erik Van Rooyen +10000

Rickie Fowler +10000

Scott Stallings +10000

Kevin Streelman +10000

Matthew NeSmith +10000

Cameron Champ +12500

Lanto Griffin +12500

Charles Howell +12500

Jhonattan Vegas +12500

Patrick Rodgers +12500

Luke List +12500

Cam Davis +12500

Doug Ghim +12500

Emiliano Grillo +12500

David Lipsky +15000

Anirban Lahiri +15000 

Stephan Jaeger +15000

Chez Reavie +15000

Stewart Cink +15000

Matt Wallace +15000

Troy Merritt +15000

Alex Smalley +15000

J.J. Spaun +15000

Sepp Straka +15000

Ryan Palmer +15000

Russell Knox +15000

Lucas Glover +15000

Tom Hoge +15000

Kramer Hickok +17500

Dylan Frittelli +17500

Andrew Putnam +20000

Patton Kizzire +20000

Callum Tarren +20000

James Hahn +20000

Matthew Wolff +20000

Austin Smotherman +20000

Matthias Schwab +20000

Chad Ramey +20000

Scott Piercy +20000

John Huh +20000

Martin Laird +20000

Adam Svensson +20000

Hank Lebioda +20000

Danny Lee +20000

Tyler Duncan +25000

Peter Malnati +25000

Brice Garnett +25000

Vince Whaley +25000

Charley Hoffman +25000

Brandon Wu +25000

Nate Lashley +25000

Rory Sabbatini +25000

Garrick Higgo +25000

Zach Johnson +25000

Joseph Bramlett +25000

Danny Willett +25000

Adam Schenk +25000

Doc Redman +25000

J.T. Poston +25000


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