Fantasy preview: Travelers Championship

June 19, 2012
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist

With the second major of the season in the books, the field for the British Open will continue filling out this week beginning with the British Amateur scheduled to conclude on Saturday, June 23. For golfers currently eligible for both remaining majors and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, and all remaining qualifying criteria, please bookmark this feature.

Well, I finally reversed the trend on PGA TOUR Matchups on Facebook. After five straight weeks of going 2-3-0, I went 3-2-0 at the U.S. Open to crack triple digits at 104 points. At the top of the leaderboard, Chris Stolle (2-3-0) continues to hold a two-point margin over Frank (2-3-0), 128-126. Four others are tied for third place with 124.

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Power Rankings
Rob Bolton breaks down the Travelers Championship field in this week's Power Rankings and provides five players who could surprise.

My picks for the Travelers Championship:

Bubba Watson over Webb SimpsonMatt Kuchar over Zach Johnson • Padraig Harrington over Keegan Bradley • Fredrik Jacobson over Hunter Mahan • Louis Oosthuizen over Ryo Ishikawa

Power Rankings Distribution for Yahoo! (rank)

Group A ... Matt Kuchar (1); Zach Johnson (8); Webb Simpson (10)

Group B ... Ryan Moore (2); Bo Van Pelt (4); Hunter Mahan (5); Fredrik Jacobson (6); Bubba Watson (7); John Rollins (9); *Andres Romero (11); Michael Thompson (12)

Group C ... Padraig Harrington (3); John Huh (13); John Merrick (14); Aaron Baddeley (15)

* - Romero withdrew on Tuesday.

Sleepers Distribution for Yahoo! (rank)

Group A ... none

Group B ... none

Group C ... Patrick Cantlay; James Driscoll; Harris English; Patrick Reed; Cameron Tringale

On a Roll (Yahoo! Group)

Ken Duke (B) ... With a share of seventh place in Memphis two weeks ago, he extended his streak to five consecutive months with at least one top 10. Co-led the field at TPC Southwind in birdies. Ranks 49th on TOUR in birdie average.

Blake Adams (B) ... Ever since his opening 66 at THE PLAYERS, we've been treated with doses of good play, particularly his greenside game. He's survived five straight cuts including three top 25s, the most recent a T21 at the U.S. Open. Shared ninth place here last year.

Seung-yul Noh (C) ... The rookie had a week off after a career-best T7 on the PGA TOUR at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Riding a consecutive cuts made streak of seven that includes three top 15s.

Daniel Summerhays (C) ... Carded bookend, 3-under 69s en route to a T4 at the Memorial in his last start. Sits 22nd on the PGA TOUR in greens in regulation and 45th in birdie average.

J.B. Holmes (A) ... Forgettable record at this tournament but he's posted top 20s in his last two starts.

Nick O'Hern (B) ... It took him 15 events to post his first top 25, and he nearly won in Memphis, finishing in a tie for third place two strokes off the lead. Co-led the tournament after 54 holes. Two top 20s in five starts at TPC River Highlands including a solo third in 2007.

Horses for Courses (Yahoo! Group)

Rob's Yahoo! lineup
Group A: Matt Kuchar; Webb Simpson
Group B: Hunter Mahan; Ryan Moore; Bo Van Pelt; Bubba Watson
Group C: Padraig Harrington; John Huh
YAHOO! STATS: 3,434 points; 19,541st place
SUMMER: 150 points (33,934th)
2012 EARNINGS: $3,896,113.00
DUFFER: Tom Pernice, Jr.
2012 EARNINGS: $280,003.50

Brian Davis (B) ... He's finished inside the top 20 in half of his last six starts at this event including a T9 last year. All six of his top 25s this season have occurred in his last nine starts. Last teed it up at the Memorial where he placed T25.

Bryce Molder (B) ... A perfect track for a guy that can flourish on short courses. He ranks 16th in greens in regulation and second in Strokes Gained-Putting. Finished T19 here in 2009 and T6 last year.

Chris Stroud (B) ... A sleeper in Yahoo!'s Group B, he's knocked on the door several times already this year, posting six top 15s. He's outside the top 100 on TOUR in greens hit and birdie average but he placed T17 here last year, swallowing only five bogeys all week.

Chad Campbell (B) ... One of the last cuts from my Power Rankings, he's coming off a T3 in Memphis, his only top 20 of the year. He ranked T12 in greens in regulation and fourth in Strokes Gained-Putting at TPC Southwind. Currently 26th on TOUR in GIR. Owns a pair of top 15s at TPC River Highlands, including a T5 in 2010.

Heath Slocum (C) ... Trap. Four top 20s in seven appearances including a T17 last year, but he's 9-for-16 this year with no top 30s.

Leaking Oil (Yahoo! Group)

Kyle Stanley (A) ... Continues to scuffle. In his last 11 starts, he's survived just four cuts with nothing better than a T49 in Memphis two weeks ago.

Vaughn Taylor (C) ... Looking to hop off the schneid after missing four straight cuts. TPC River Highlands has been a decent fit, too. He's 7-for-8 with two top 15s, the more recent of which a T9 in 2010.

Chez Reavie (A) ... He's missed his last six cuts and has just one top 30 in 16 starts all year (T20, Transitions).

Matt Bettencourt (C) ... Zero cuts made in his last seven starts. His actual scoring average over that stretch is 75.17.

Brian Harman (C) ... In his last seven starts, he's missed five cuts including his last four, and hasn't posted a top 50.

Ted Potter, Jr. (B) ... The lefty has missed his last four cuts but TPC River Highlands just might play into his aggressive style. He hasn't exhibited anywhere near the same kind of game that supported his top spot in the all-around ranking on the Nationwide Tour last year, but he arrives perhaps more rested than most having competing just once in the last six weeks.

Roland Thatcher (C) ... Limited to 10 starts due to conditional status, he's missed his last five cuts and hasn't broken 71 in his last 11 rounds on the PGA TOUR.

Tom Pernice, Jr. (C) ... The 52-year-old has missed eight cuts in a row dating back to the Northern Trust Open. Perhaps more surprisingly, he has just one top 10 in five starts on the Champions Tour.

Michael Bradley (B) ... He's missed his last three cuts and hasn't posted a top 30 in a full-field event since October.

Mark Anderson (B) ... Since a run of eight consecutive cuts made, the PGA TOUR rookie has missed his last four.

Jason Kokrak (B) ... Enters having missed three straight cuts and hasn't broken 72 in his last seven rounds.

Steve Wheatcroft (B) ... Hasn't made a cut in his last five starts. Zero top 35s among three cuts made in 11 events all year.

Charlie Beljan (C) ... Of the healthy PGA TOUR rookies, he's endured the longest drought, not having made a cut since placing T48 in Puerto Rico.

Danger (Yahoo! Group)

Kevin Stadler (C) ... His recent play and sterling splits project for a continuation of form that has produced three top 10s and another six top 25s, but he's 1-for-6 at TPC River Highlands with a T54 in 2007.

Louis Oosthuizen (C) ... His spot opposite Ryo Ishikawa in PGA TOUR Matchups on Facebook might be the most difficult duel to call all year. It had me searching for the option to select a draw (which doesn't exist). Oosthuizen has missed four of his five cuts since winning in Malaysia the week after losing in a playoff at the Masters. Both he and Ishikawa are first-timers at TPC River Highlands.

Jeff Maggert (C) ... Flashed some form early at TPC Southwind two weeks ago before fading to a T27, his best finish in four months. Alas, he's missed the cut in his last four starts at the Travelers.

George McNeill (A) ... Since winning in Puerto Rico, he's 7-for-9 with just one top 20. Hasn't survived a cut in any of his three previous trips to TPC River Highlands.

D.J. Trahan (C) ... Course-history buffs beware. He's posted top 20s in each of his last three appearances. However, in his last 12 starts this season, he's made only three cuts and hasn't finished better than T40 at Pebble Beach over four months ago.

Medic! (Yahoo! Group)

John Mallinger (C) ... First start since placing T47 at Colonial four weeks ago. He withdrew early from both the Memorial and St. Jude. No news has surfaced to suggest that his time away is anything more than an extended break. Currently 77th in FedExCup points and worthy of a roster spot in all long-term formats.

Graham DeLaet (C) ... Didn't want to risk exacerbating his back at the Memorial, so he withdrew early from the tournament. He had back surgery very early in 2011, then returned earlier than he should have and was forced to cut his season short. He's been everything gamers wanted this year, with two top 10s among 10 cuts made. Still better used in long-term formats, however.

Tom Gillis (C) ... Last played at the Memorial where he withdrew after one round (81) with a back injury. Then opted out of the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Columbus, Ohio. Flier value this week given he's recorded top 15s in his last two trips to TPC River Highlands, albeit six years apart (2005, 2011).

Kris Blanks (B) ... Withdrew before his second round in Memphis two weeks ago; an explanation wasn't released. Finished T9 at the Travelers in 2010 and ranks 30th on the PGA TOUR in greens in regulation, but he's 112th in birdie average and has logged just one top 25 in 19 starts this season.

Garth Mulroy (C) ... Forced out after nine holes at TPC Southwind due to a back injury. After an outstanding 2011, he's one of the biggest fantasy disappointments this year with zero top 25s among just four cuts made in 10 starts.

Paul Casey (C) ... In the field at the BMW International Open in Germany. Hasn't played since missing the cut at the BMW PGA Championship. Withdrew early from the U.S. Open due to his lingering shoulder injury.

Jason Gore (B) ... Scheduled to compete at the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open on the Nationwide Tour. Recently battled tendonitis in his shoulder on which he has surgery last summer. He's alerted his followers on Twitter throughout the ordeal, going as far to write the following on June 8: "Very scared about my future." A doctor visit ensued, the problem was diagnosed and he's ready to go again.

Notable WDs (Yahoo! Group)

Charl Schwartzel (C) ... Finished T38 at the U.S. Open. Now taking a few weeks off to rest a rib injury.

Matt Every (C) ... This is his second consecutive withdrawal after the commitment deadline and before a tournament (St. Jude).

Jimmy Walker (B) ... First early withdrawal since last year's Viking Classic.

Erik Compton (C) ... Since withdrawing during the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Columbus, Ohio on June 4, he's withdrawn early from both the FedEx St. Jude Classic and this week's Travelers.