This week the Tour heads back east to Cromwell, Connecticut and TPC River Highlands. Located just outside of Hartford, River Highlands has hosted the Travelers Championship since 1991, but the inaugural event was held in 1952. The late Billy Casper won this event four times, and other past champions include Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, and last year’s champion Kevin Streelman. Streelman set a Tour record in last year’s event by finishing with 7 consecutive birdies to edge both K.J. Choi and Sergio Garcia by a shot. The tournament serves as Connecticut’s largest sporting event, and attracts the second largest attendance totals each year on Tour.
A par 70, at 6,841 yards, we can expect some low scores as many players in this week’s field will be returning from the torture that was Chambers Bay. This week will be about making birdies, while last week was about preventing against mistakes.
Below are my list of my player rankings for this week.
Bubba Watson - Playing the event that served as his first PGA victory back in 2010. He may have seemed somewhat quiet as of late, but don’t be fooled, he can win any time he tees it up. He’s that good.
Billy Horschel - Has been playing very solid golf and is coming off of a week at the US Open which saw him play incredibly inspired golf, much of which was a result of his frustrations with the course set up at Chambers Bay. If he can channel that drive into this week, I would expect to see him play very well.
Brandt Snedeker - Continues to improve this season, posting solid results. Made a charge at Chambers Bay this past weekend, and in doing so proved that if his putter is on, he will always be a threat.
Charley Hoffman - Finished T7 in 2013 and is having a great season. Ranks 6th on the money list, and 4th in the FedEx Cup race.
Brendan Steele - A young man who has played well at this event in the past finishing T13 in 2011 & 2013, and T5 in 2014. Has missed a few cut over the last couple months, but has also had a couple top-10’s. When he makes the cut, he usually places well.
Peter Uihlein - Former US Amatuer champion who has been experiencing success on the European Tour. Is from New England, and is looking to make the most of his sponsor exemption this week.
Angel Cabrera - T9 in 2013 and T11 in 2014. Is a player who often flies below the radar, but we forget that he is a three-time major winner who can win anywhere.
Marc Leishman - Won in The Travelers in 2012, T11 last year. Has two top-10’s in the last 6 events he’s played.
Fredrik Jacobsen - Won this event in 2011. T8 in 2012, T30 in 2013 and T31 last year. Plays well on this course, widely due to his consistent putting.
Kevin Streelman - Last year’s winner shot back-to-back 64’s and finished with a string of 7 birdies to win the event. Is consistently making cuts this year and returning to a course that he has clearly had success on.
Tony Finau - Great week at the US Open finishing T14. Has finished in the top-20 in each of the last five tournaments he’s played.
Cameron Smith - I almost picked him as a sleeper last week, and I would have looked like a genius if I had drafted him for one of my DraftKings teams, as he finished T4 and only 2 shots back from Spieth. I’m not making the same mistake again this week. Ranks 2nd on Tour in strokes gained putting.
Here are a look at my fantasy teams for this week’s DraftKings competition.
Bubba Watson - $11,800
Justin Thomas - $7,900
Peter Uihlein - $7,400
Patrick Rogers - $7,500
Angel Cabrera - $6,500
Cameron Smith - $6,500
Billy Horschel - $10,100
Zach Johnson - $9,100
Brendan Steele - $8,800
Will Wilcox - $8,000
Patrick Rogers - $7,500
Jim Herman - $6,200
My philosophy for choosing my teams this week is to continue with my trend of selecting players who make sense, but would not be your first choice to win. PGA Tour events often have superstars toward the top, but there are “surprises” each week. For this reason I have been trying to choose who those surprises will be, and the strategy has been helping, as I have made money the last couple of DraftKings competitions. I am placing some weight on last week’s US Open, but not too much as Chambers Bay and TPC River Highlands are two very different courses, and so I expect to see two very different leaderboards come Sunday.
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About the Author
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family. Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.
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