Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day all missed the cut at last week's U.S. Open, marking the first time the top three players in the Official World Ranking (Introduced in 1986) have all failed to make the weekend at the same major. It was a shock -- especially for those who picked chalk at Erin Hills (How about us tabbing Brooks Koepka, though?) -- but perhaps just as surprising is that two of those players, McIlroy and Day, are back in action this week at the Travelers Championship. In fact, the 65-year-old event might have its strongest field ever, thanks in part to a new PGA Tour rule that requires players who made fewer than 25 starts the previous season to add a new event to their schedule. No matter the reason, we're not complaining about seeing a plethora of stars playing one of the most well-regarded golf courses on the PGA Tour schedule. Without further ado, our picks.
Rory McIlroy: The MC at Erin Hills was disappointing. McIlroy's season has been disappointing -- especially for someone who picked him over Dustin Johnson in my big fantasy draft. But the fact that McIlroy, who has been plagued by bad ribs/bad back, is playing two weeks in a row is a positive sign. So is that he birdied four of his final six holes at Erin Hills. Watch out, Steve Elkington, McIlroy will have extra motivation this week to get back in the winner's circle.
Justin Thomas: JT had a rough final round at Erin Hills following that record-breaking 63, but when finishing T-9 at a U.S. Open -- his first career top 10 at a major -- is considered a letdown, you know you've made it. Thomas went one lower (62) at TPC River Highlands during last year's final round to finish T-3. You probably don't remember that, though, because a certain U.S. Open winner shot 58. Speaking of. . .
Jim Furyk: I mean, the dude earned the nickname "Mr. 58" at this event last year. How can you not pick him? It's been a quiet season for the U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but after a stunning stretch of six consecutive missed cuts, Furyk finished T-23 at Erin Hills. We like him to do better this week on a course that will be set up one THOUSAND yards shorter. Literally.
Graham DeLaet: The Canadian has finished in the top five in his last two trips to TPC River Highlands and he's coming off a T-10 at the Memorial. Clearly over the anxiety issues that plagued him at this time last year, the time is now to finally pick up that first PGA Tour title. After all, Canada is close to Connecticut. Kind of.
Just missed: Brian Harman and Marc Leishman.
And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:
Yahoo! lineup: Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jim Furyk, Graham DeLaet (Starters); Marc Leishman, Paul Casey, Bubba Watson, Brian Harman (Bench).
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Graham DeLaet.