Power Rankings: Travelers Championship

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June 20, 2011
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist

The Travelers Championship has been slotted in the week immediately following the U.S. Open since 2007. Checking in at 6,841 yards, the par-70 TPC River Highlands is the third-shortest course on the PGA TOUR schedule, and its scoring average has been sub-69.50 for the last three years, so it's been a welcome destination to the touring pros leaving the grind of the season's second major.

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This time around, however, Congressional played a relatively easy +1.993 strokes to par; that's the first time a U.S. Open has averaged lower than +2.9 since 2003. Therefore, there may be more positive carryover for the eight in the field in Connecticut that finished inside the top 25 in Maryland. Five are featured below.

Each of the last 17 winners of the Travelers has finished double-digits under par. Putting is the most difficult challenge primarily due to notable undulations, as the host course has ranked inside the top 20 in the stat in five of the last six years -- it was T12 a year ago -- but the greens will be running at 10.5 on the Stimpmeter, allowing guys to be aggressive. Greens in regulation, birdie average and adjusted scoring average also play a role in this week's profile.

And while courses like PGA National and Quail Hollow boast difficult three-hole stretches better known as The Bear Trap and The Green Mile, respectively, this week's field will find some comfort in knowing that The Golden Triangle -- holes 15, 16 and 17 at TPC River Highlands, which play to a par 4-3-4 -- averaged 10.967 strokes last year. (The 15th was the only member of the trio with an under-par clip at -0.218 strokes to par.)

A fair threat of inclement weather is expected Thursday and could last through Saturday. As the risk diminishes, the temperatures will rise into the low 80s. Despite the energy moving through, the early forecast calls for light winds throughout.

Power Rankings: Travelers Championship
Rank Player   Comment
Hunter
MAHAN
The 2007 champion also has a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth here. Prior to missing the cut on the number at Congressional, he strung together four top 20s. Ranks fourth on TOUR in ball-striking, 37th in putting and second in birdie average.
Webb
SIMPSON
Placed T14 after surviving the cut on the number in his major debut at the U.S. Open. Six top 25s in his last seven starts overall. Leads the PGA TOUR in the all-around and ranks 11th in ball-striking, seventh in birdie average and ninth in adjusted scoring.
Brandt
SNEDEKER
Enters with three straight top 20s, including a T11 at Congressional, his latest in a series of personal-best finishes in the last two months. Ranks third on TOUR in putting, seventh in adjusted scoring and 15th in the all-around.
Zach
JOHNSON
Too good of a fit to overlook despite finishing outside the top 25 in his last two starts, including a T30 at Congressional. Ranks eighth on TOUR in both fairways hit and putting; also 23rd in adjusted scoring. Three top 25s in five starts at the Travelers.
Ryan
MOORE
Missed the cut at the U.S. Open and hasn't posted a top 20 in five starts, but owns three top 15s in five appearances at TPC River Highlands, including a share of 13th place a year ago. Also sits 13th on the PGA TOUR in strokes gained-putting.
Bo
VAN PELT
His share of 14th place at the U.S. Open was his third consecutive top-15 finish going back to a solo third at Colonial. Currently ninth on TOUR in ball-striking, 46th in adjusted scoring and 17th in the all-around. Two top 10s in his last four starts here.
Bubba
WATSON
The defending champion hasn't cracked a top 40 in four starts since winning in New Orleans, but he finished second in putting and led the field in birdies (also had an eagle) here last year. Top 15s in his previous two starts as well. Leads the TOUR in greens hit.
Nick
WATNEY
One stroke too high to make the cut at the U.S. Open, but has seven top 10s in 12 starts, and ranks sixth in FedExCup points. Also has a pair of top 10s in four starts here. Eighth on TOUR in ball-striking, 16th in putting and fifth in adjusted scoring.
Brandt
JOBE
His renaissance season continued at Congressional where he placed T23 for his seventh top 25 of 2011 (and third straight). Leads the PGA TOUR in total driving and ranks 23rd in both greens in regulation and birdie average; also 24th in adjusted scoring.
Fredrik
JACOBSON
Played in the third-to-last group on Sunday at Congressional, shot 73 and placed T14 for his seventh top 25 of the year. Has made just one of three cuts at the Travelers, but ranks 26th on the PGA TOUR in putting and 13th in adjusted scoring average.

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