The final ranking for qualification into the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo has been determined, so if you’re putting together a side game, your field is ready.
Note that Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Fitzpatrick, Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton, Adam Scott, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer have elected not to participate. All are PGA TOUR members but only Kaymer would have needed to use the competition as one of his 15 starts to fulfill voting privileges. He’s made only four starts via conditional status.
With that in mind, this is as good a time as any to remind all season-long gamers that the Olympics, the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup can count as one start each to members if they need to reach the minimum of 15.
The Olympics competition on July 29-Aug. 1 is unofficial, so it will have no impact on the PGA TOUR. There’s no official TOUR stop at the same time, so PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf will have the week off.
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf
My roster for the Travelers Championship (in alphabetical order):
Abraham Ancer (+2800)
Paul Casey (+1800)
Brian Harman (+2800)
Scottie Scheffler (+2500)
Kevin Streelman (+3000)
Bubba Watson (+4000)
You’ll find my starters in Expert Picks
Others to consider for each category (in alphabetical order):
Scoring: Patrick Cantlay; Bryson DeChambeau; Harris English; Dustin Johnson; Brooks Koepka; Joaquin Niemann; Patrick Reed; Matthew Wolff
Driving: Keegan Bradley; Patrick Cantlay; Harris English; Rickie Fowler; Emiliano Grillo; Dustin Johnson; Joaquin Niemann; Brendan Steele
Odds sourced on Tuesday, June 22nd at 5 a.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm.
POWER RANKINGS WILD CARD
Brooks Koepka (+1600) … Fulfilled his projection at the U.S. Open (see Recap below) but here we have another non-major. Respect for his potential positioned him highly in the Power Rankings at Congaree, but he paid off my prop at GolfBet to miss the cut in the same tournament. This is where fantasy and betting collide. They cannot occupy the same space in certain places, so I trust that you can parse through the nuance when it seems that I’m contradicting myself. As I’ve always said, make decisions based on your format and pursuit. My job is to guide you into a position to agree or disagree because all that matters is the result. This week, with his brother, Chase, in the field and with a 4-for-4 slate that includes a T9 (2016) and a T19 (2018), Brooks warrants a share. I also dig that it’s his next opportunity to prove that he’s employing the focus that he’s said that he needs in the non-majors, so I suspect that he will because he’s put that out there.
Harris English (+3500) … Bona fide snub from the Power Rankings. Easily could have been included, so I’m not going to dance around with excuses or advise you out of him in any situation. He’s been brilliant over the last month or so, so I’m the one who needs to catch up after separating following what appeared to be an emotional letdown after he opened 2021 with victory at Kapalua.
Joaquin Niemann (+3500) … Quite simply, his class is permanent as he nears the end of his third spin as a PGA TOUR member. He’s missed only one cut all season (Memorial). He’s also 2-for-2 at TPC River Highlands with a T5 in his debut in 2019.
Marc Leishman (+6600) … If you’re going to rank my Draws, he’s not No. 1, and that’s an indictment. Expectations were higher at Torrey Pines where he finished 64th, but TPC River Highlands is a prime location to make noise again. Since breaking through with a walk-off 62 in 2012, he’s added a trio of top 20s and a T21.
Russell Henley (+5000) … He’s streaky, so ignore the final-round fade at Torrey Pines. He’s also 3-for-4 at TPC River Highlands with a pair of top 15s. Solid DFS complement.
Matthew Wolff (+5000) … Not only has he publicly addressed what’s been challenging him – and at a time when mental illness more topical than ever in the world of sports – he looked to be having a good time again at Torrey Pines. Certainly, if the result is a true reflection, the T15 proves it. And lest we forget that it was a U.S. Open! Provided he continues to manage himself with the support of those in whom he trusts, season-long investors are thrilled to have remained patient. It’s like picking up a top-shelf free agent midseason.
Guido Migliozzi (+10000) … Man, did he deliver as a Sleeper for the U.S. Open! En route to a T4 that yielded an exemption into the 2022 Masters, the 24-year-old Italian ranked inside the top 15 in greens hit, proximity to the hole, Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, scrambling, par-3 scoring and par-4 scoring, essentially taking the talent familiar to the European Tour to Torrey Pines. Remain patient as he gets accustomed to the green speeds at TPC River Highlands, but have fun building around him in DFS.
Brandt Snedeker (+15000) … Strides in having quietly connected seven cuts made, four of which for a top 20. He’s also putting on Poa this week, so that age-old comfort level helps explain how he’s 7-for-9 at TPC River Highlands with four top 25s and a scoring average of 68.47.
Si Woo Kim
Tony Finau (+3000) … He’s not a horse for a course, he’s a horse for all courses; well, except for maybe TPC River Highlands. He connected top 25s in his first three appearances but he missed the cut in his last two. Given how much we’ve ridden his back, that constitutes reason to hop off for another time. Of course, that’s the conservative gamer in me talking. Because of his firepower and flexibility to adapt to every track, he’s one of the most valuable examples in whom chasers should invest and still sleep soundly. If you’re a front-runner, think of him as a rare opportunity to invest in a guy who hasn’t lit up this stage in five prior trips and, yet, for defensive purposes.
Charley Hoffman (+5000) … He has a terrific record at TPC River Highlands. It includes a T2 in 2012, a T3 in 2017 and another three top 25s among nine cuts made in 11 trips. So, it’s not that that’s of any concern; instead, I’m worried a bit about a letdown. He has had the pedal floored all year and it ultimately was just enough to get him into the U.S. Open in his hometown without the trouble of sectional qualifying. Alas, he finished T57. He presents as needing a moment to recharge the batteries but that’s not how he’s wired when it comes to his commitments. Thoroughly intrigued if the 44-year-old muscles the fortitude to dig deep yet again this week.
Cameron Smith (+5000) … His recent T59-MC-MC since the PGA Championship is a reminder that he has a streaky component in his DNA. If you’re wondering where he’ll reignite, TPC River Highlands would not rank highly as he’s just 2-for-4 and without a top 30. Granted, he’s only 27 years old, but there are better choices among the speculative at the Travelers.
Chris Kirk (+12500) … Scuffling of late and hasn’t pegged it at TPC River Highlands since a T58 in 2013.
Adam Scott (+5000) … The 40-year-old Aussie probably will make the cut because that’s what he does a high percentage of the time, but this is his first look at TPC River Highlands since his debut in 2010. If he presents in DFS with a higher price tag than expected, that’s the premium for insurance.
Cameron Tringale (+8000) … After being a steady go-to for most of 2021, he’s stumbled enough lately to suggest that it’s not sustainable. It’s also easy to abstain consider that his only top-65 finish among just three cuts made in seven trips to TPC River Highlands was in 2012 (T15).
Kevin Kisner (+10000) … The recurring theme continues at TPC River Highlands where he’s 1-for-4 with a T15 in 2019. In his last 10 stroke-play starts, he’s cashed only twice and he hasn’t had a top 30 in any full-field competition all year.
Chesson Hadley (+15000) … The second- and third-round leader at Congaree, where he settled for co-runner-up, is 0-for-4 with only two red numbers at TPC River Highlands.
RETURNING TO COMPETITION
Jason Day (+6600) … Cited a sore back ahead of the Memorial at home, but there also was the matter of the birth of his fourth child, Oz. The proud papa returns at a comfortable site and one at which he’s recorded a trio of top 20s among five paydays in six appearances. Given his struggles, it’s a little hard to believe that he’s 107th in the FedExCup, but you’ll excuse season-long salary gamers who wouldn’t mind him hold off a little while longer to populate a leaderboard again given that he’s banked only $982K in 2020-21.
Cameron Percy (+30000) … Withdrew at Congaree after opening with 77. An explanation wasn’t released. Meanwhile, given his laser-like precision with his irons – he’s third on TOUR in greens hit, T12 in proximity and T3 in par-3 scoring – he’s an underrated chip on shorter courses like TPC River Highlands. Never even in the middle tier of performers, he’s still hanging up quality results this season, relatively speaking. Currently 137th in the FedExCup and finished outside the top 140 in his first eight seasons of eligibility. So, on the whole, he’s poised to record a personal best at the Travelers where he’s 4-for-6 with no better than a T30 in 2013.
Jason Kokrak … It’s almost unfair to include him here because he bowed out just after Friday’s commitment deadline, but that’s the cutoff for this attention. The two-time winner is ninth in the FedExCup and just 4-for-7 without a top 25 at TPC River Highlands, so gamers would’ve considered him as a contrarian based on overall form, anyway.
Daniel Berger … The forgotten victim to Jordan Spieth’s hole-out and aerial chest-bump in the playoff at TPC River Highlands in 2017 finished T67 the following year. In his last trip in 2019, he missed the cut. Continues to motor this season – closed out a T7 at Torrey Pines with a 3-under 68 – and sits 22nd in the FedExCup.
Jhonattan Vegas … Although he’s missed only six cuts in 21 starts this season, only six of his paydays have gone for a top 40. Two were runner-up finishes, so he knows what he’s doing. Put it all together and he’s 70th in FedExCup points.
Joel Dahmen … This is his second early withdrawal (RBC Heritage) since taking down his first title at Corales in late March. He’s exempt into The Open Championship in three weeks, so schedule management is key. He’s 72nd in the FedExCup and fully exempt through 2022-23.
Luke List … His only payday in eight appearances at TPC River Highlands was a T63 in 2009, so we weren’t looking at him, anyway. Hanging on at 110th in the FedExCup despite 14 missed cuts and a withdrawal in 26 starts.
Erik van Rooyen … He’s missed five of his last six cuts but snuck a T10 at Congaree into the mix. After missing the cut at the U.S. Open, the South African was bumped to 126th in the FedExCup, but that’s in part due to the debut of fellow countryman, Garrick Higgo, who debuts at 83rd as a PGA TOUR member.
Bo Hoag … Taking his first week off all month after a T13 at Muirfield Village that his grandfather co-founded, a mid-tournament WD at Congaree (during his second round) and a rough week at Torrey Pines. Positioned 128th in the FedExCup.
Steve Stricker … Committed to the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. We’re only three months away from the Ryder Cup for which he’s the United States captain, so he’s been juggling significant responsibilities associated with that, but the 54-year-old is 12th in Schwab Cup earnings and 150th in the FedExCup. It’s remarkable given that most captains can’t or won’t attempt to blend in as much playing time, but when they do, they’re not as impactful.
POWER RANKINGS RECAP – U.S. Open
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Jon Rahm Win
2 Collin Morikawa T4
3 Rory McIlroy T7
4 Brooks Koepka T4
5 Xander Schauffele T7
6 Bryson DeChambeau T26
7 Louis Oosthuizen 2nd
8 Dustin Johnson T19
9 Patrick Reed T19
10 Justin Thomas T19
11 Webb Simpson MC
12 Patrick Cantlay T15
13 Tony Finau MC
14 Viktor Hovland WD
15 Marc Leishman 64th
16 Justin Rose MC
17 Will Zalatoris MC
18 Hideki Matsuyama T26
19 Jason Kokrak MC
20 Jordan Spieth T19
Wild Card Phil Mickelson T62
SLEEPERS RECAP – U.S. Open
Rikuya Hoshino T26
Chan Kim MC
Guido Migliozzi T4
Carlos Ortiz MC
Matthias Schmid MC
BIRTHDAYS AMONG ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE PGA TOUR
June 22 … Dustin Johnson (37)
June 23 … Roberto Castro (36)
June 24 … none
June 25 … John Rollins (46)
June 26 … none
June 27 … none
June 28 … Si Woo Kim (26)
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