Sleeper Picks: Travelers ChampionshipJune 19, 2012
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
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Note: Fantasy expert Rob Bolton provides his list of sleeper picks for every tournament. This week, he focuses his under-the-radar selections for the Travelers Championship:
Patrick Reed ... Successfully navigated open qualifying for the fourth time this year. Given that fact and the requirement at a four-spotter to play aggressively over 18 holes for a job, the emerging touring pro deserves attention on a track like TPC River Highlands that rewards the same. While he has one top 25 among three cuts made in five starts on the PGA TOUR this year, the value of playing time in and of itself is immeasurable. Furthermore, knowing that teenager-at-the-time Patrick Cantlay stapled a 60 on the board here last year puts down the foundation for confidence in other young non-members gunning to attach themselves to something special sooner than later.
Patrick Cantlay ... Making his professional debut this week after two years at UCLA. First sophomore ever to win the Ben Hogan Award, and he did so without finishing first in any event on the college circuit all season. He leaves the amateur ranks on top of the World Amateur Golf Ranking. His 60 in the second round last year was just the 25th such score in the history of the PGA TOUR. (There have been five 59s.) He led by one at the midpoint en route to a share of 24th place. In eight PGA TOUR starts, he's survived seven cuts including at the Masters and two U.S. Opens. Posted four top 25s in 2011.
Harris English ... While we are eager this week to observe upstarts like Reed and Cantlay as well as Kelly Kraft, Bryden Macpherson, Daniel Miernicki and Patrick Rodgers, we can't forget about young guns already on TOUR making noise. You can't start in a better place than former amateur standout English. He's 13-for-16 in his rookie year with two top 10s and another four top 25s. He ranks 19th in greens in regulation and 30th in birdie average. Incidentally, English was on the 2011 Walker Cup team with Cantlay, Kraft and Rodgers.
Cameron Tringale ... Not long before English was tearing up the amateur ranks, Tringale was blazing his own trail. The 2009 Walker Cupper has enjoyed a sparkling year on the PGA TOUR with four top 10s. The 24-year-old sits 61st on TOUR in greens in regulation and 23rd in birdie average.
James Driscoll ... Sticking with the theme, he was on the 2001 Walker Cup team. Also attended prep school about 45 minutes from TPC River Highlands. Placed fifth in last year's Travelers. In his last eight starts this season, he's logged a trio of top 20s, including two top 10s. His tee-to-green game is inconsistent but he's 58th in birdie average.