Expert Picks: Travelers Championship

June 19, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

The PGA TOUR travels to TPC River Highlands this week for the Travelers Championship. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders:

How it works: Our experts from PGATOUR.COM select the player they think will win this week's event. By using a draft process, no two picks can be the same. The player who wins the previous week picks last the following week.
MORE: Power Rankings | Inside the Field | Inside the Course | FANTASY GOLF: Play our game
SLEEPER PICKS: Who will surprise at TPC River Highlands?
Expert picks: Travelers Championship
Pick orderPlayer selected
MICHAEL THOMPSON. This is an interesting week because there are so many choices. Do you pick someone with momentum or one who has played well here? My choice is Thompson, the U.S. Open runner-up, who tied for fourth at last year's Travelers.
HUNTER MAHAN. He won there in 2007, was a runner-up in 2008 and 2009 and is in the midst of arguably his best season on TOUR. Mahan is also sixth in GIR and in the top 25 in scoring -- both key numbers for TPC River Highlands.
If Wacker had the top pick ... Mahan
FREDRIK JACOBSON. Jacobson has been hitting his peak at just the right time to defend his title -- when he finished 20 under at TPC River Highlands. The Swede is coming off three top-30 finishes in his past four weeks including a T15 at the US Open.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Jacobson
MATT KUCHAR. A model of consistency once again this season with seven top-15 finishes in 13 starts, good for seventh place in the FedExCup. No reason why that trend doesn't continue in his first appearance in Hartford since 2008.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Kuchar
RYAN MOORE. How does a respectable season so far (55th in FedExCup points, three top-10s) turn great for Moore? By finally getting it done at TPC River Highlands. He has two T2s here, including last year. C'mon, Ryan, get me out of the Picks doldrums.
If Schwarb had the top pick ... Moore
JOHN PETERSON. Peterson's magical U.S. Open run - complete with his first hole-in-one and a T4 finish - will give him confidence this week. He's a promising young golfer who won the 2011 NCAA men's individual golf championship - watch out for him in the future.
If Deason had the top pick ... Peterson
ZACH JOHNSON. Johnson has been playing well enough to turn this into a multiple-win season, and it could start this week. He's got four top-25s at TPC River Highlands in six starts.
If Szeker had the top pick ... Moore
PADRAIG HARRINGTON. He has three top-10 finishes this season and is coming off a T4 at the U.S. Open. He's eighth in scoring average, and also finished T5 here in 2010. Plus, Harrington is a solid sand player on a course that has 119 bunkers.
If McAllister had the top pick ... Harrington
WEBB SIMPSON. A couple guys still out there I really like but I'll roll the dice against a major letdown. Simpson has 13 sub-70 rounds here including eight of his last nine. The U.S. Open champ said his game got better last week and I hope that trend continues.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Mahan
BRIAN DAVIS. For TPC River Highlands, length does not matter much, which is why a 51-year-old Corey Pavin was in a playoff with Bubba Watson. I like Davis because he's a great iron player.
If Smithson had the top pick ... Moore
BO VAN PELT. Can't believe Van Pelt is still on the board here. Easy pick. He's had five top 25s in nine events here and knows how to go low on a course that yields tons of birdies. Five top 10s this year and fourth in Strokes Gained-Putting.
If Cooney had the top pick ... Van Pelt
Standings after 24 events
LAST WEEK: Despite taking some good-natured ribbing for picking Lee Westwood with the first selection, Bill Cooney carded a top 10 -- a finish that may have been a lost tee shot away from a U.S. Open victory.
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s MCs FedExCup points
1 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer
4 9 10 16 2 3141.50
2 Lauren Deason
Editorial Coordinator
2 4 7 14 2 2195.49
3 Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
1 6 11 14 7 2004.75
4 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
1 4 9 11 6 1792.90
5 Brian Wacker
Site Producer
2 4 5 9 5 1709.09
6 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor
1 3 5 10 4 1509.85
7 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents
0 4 4 12 5 1505.70
8 Chris Dunham
Editorial Coordinator
1 3 5 12 3 1499.24
9 Anne Szeker
Site Producer
0 2 8 14 1 1224.83
10 John Schwarb
Site Producer
0 2 3 11 4 866.15
11 *Bill Cooney
Site Producer
1 1 2 2 2 602.50
*First event in Week 19 at HP Byron Nelson Championship

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