Expert Picks for Travelers Championship
J.B. Holmes [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #30
We've taken a pass on using Holmes over recent weeks as this portion of the schedule seems to taint his resume every season, and thus far he's proven us right. However, he lacks any depth of his history on this particular track and his improved sense with the putter could make the TPC River Highlands a source of inspiration. Holmes is due and we believe he'll be on point.
Brandt Snedeker [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #27
Snedeker is becoming one of the more unpredictable members of the game's rising class, capable of providing shock as he pushes the game's best on top-shelf courses only to fall well short against stunted fields where he should shine. This week the field is stronger than we hoped and Snedeker has some momentum at his back after a respectable week at the major. He's risky, but against this field we can live with it.
Scott Verplank [Yahoo Class C]
Verplank may be the most alluring, or the most concerning (depending on your view) wager of the week at the Travelers. He has been one of our top targets at this tourney for several years based on a long and respectable history at this event, and last season he served us well with another top finish on this track. However, Verplank is battling back from injury. He has left us wanting more of late, and we have no true sense of his ability to push what may be the best field this event has seen in years.
Fredrik Jacobson [Yahoo Class C]
If you follow golf with passion then you know Jacobson as one of the best options no one knows about on the Tour. He is persistent in tallying starts, he has been persistent over recent seasons in pushing for a spot near the top of final leaderboards, and he is more than happy to face any talent the field might provide. This week's group will challenge, but we respect Jacobson and his ability to compete.
Bo Van Pelt [Yahoo Class C]
Like fellow Texan Scott Verplank, Van Pelt owns history on this particular track to suggest he should be ranked higher. Like Verplank, we wonder just how capable Van Pelt is today. He's left us frustrated on several occasions this season and history has not served as the best indication of his potential. Still, few can match his TPC River Highlands resume and we wonder if he isn't due to rise.
Charlie Wi [Yahoo Class C]
We may be one of the most dedicated fans found in the Charlie Wi fan club (and for good reason). He is often found in the mid-list portion of our rankings and we often say the same thing: there aren't enough golf fans and roto heads giving this guy respect. Wi is one of the more consistent bags on the Tour and he often finds himself in the mix for a spot on the final leaderboard. Add positive history on this particular track and you may find Wi as one of the best values available this week.
Martin Laird [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #150
Laird was a hero during the first portion of the PGA Tour season, and while he has cooled since, he has still been worthy of respect from fantasy owners as a name rarely employed yet often found near the top of leaderboards on Sunday night. His history has been checkered at every event thus far and he often surprises despite the lack of desired consistency. He could be a surprise again this week.
Tim Clark [Yahoo Class C] - Not Entered
If you believe Tim Clark to be healthy and ready for return, he should rank as one of the top golfers available for hire in this field. If you believe Clark is working his way toward health, you understand why we put him so low on our rankings. Yes, it wasn't long ago Clark ranked as one of the best international talents in the game ,but his injury woes have put a damper on his value. Proceed with caution.
More than a few are ready to write Kim off as one of the most disappointing golfers American fans have seen in recent years, but we know his talent still lurks behind those troubled finishes and we anticipate he could begin the path of healing this week. It is clear, based on the level of work he is producing, he wants to get his game in form. We wonder if his mental health isn't the problem at this point. Based on talent, he's worthy of rank among the top 30. We struggle to give him more than a bench spot for this week, but we are watching.
Zach Johnson [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #37
ZJ is another member of America's disappointing golf class of 2011, falling short at multiple tourneys he usually enjoy already this season. While his value is down the toilet, his experience and talent are not, and we still believe Johnson can work as one of the best from the States. He doesn't own the history needed at this track to start, but he should be on the radar.
Charley Hoffman [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #64
Hoffman has established his role in fantasy golf and few will argue it doesn't work: when history is on your side, he is worthy of a start; but when it is not, he's still worthy of a spot on the fantasy roster as he rarely, if ever, misses the cut. Hoffman hasn't been as reliable thus far this season, but he hasn't been too far from those expectations. He knows this TPC River Highlands track and it shouldn't surprise if he's fighting for attention on Sunday.
Kevin Na [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #47
Based on talent alone, we wonder if Na is ranked too low. However, he has struggled to come through in recent weeks and we worry his game is headed in the wrong direction. We typically lean on Na when the putter becomes the undeniable factor between success and frustration, and this course is one such venue. Still, recent work leaves us wondering while an improved field offers better options.
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