A week after the PGA Championship and a week before the Olympics, the Travelers Championship occupies an unenviable spot on this year's PGA Tour calendar. However, defending champ Bubba Watson has opted to tee it up at TPC River Highlands this week instead of traveling to Rio for the opening ceremonies. So is the two-time champ an obvious pick to play well? Joel Beall and I breakdown Bubba's chances, the rest of the field, and wrap up a wild week at Baltusrol in our weekly podcast:
And if you're more old-school and would rather just read my normal weekly picks, here's who I'm taking on my PGA Tour Fantasy Golf team in Hartford:
Paul Casey: A runner-up in his first trip to Hartford last year, Casey is coming off a T-10 at the PGA Championship. Wouldn't it be fun if he keeps playing well leading up to a Ryder Cup he's ineligible for? I don't know why, but I think it would be fun. Moving on. . .
Webb Simpson: Now here's someone who is eligible to play in the Ryder Cup, but at 25th on the list, he needs a big final push in the next month. Simpson has been playing well of late, though, with four top 15s since the birth of his fourth child in May. Simpson hasn't played at TPC River Highlands, one of the shortest tracks on tour at 6,841 yards, in three years, but he finished T-5 the last time he came and has never missed the cut in six appearances.
Brendan Steele: Another Masters of None (Joel and my co-owned fantasy golf team) member, Steele has finished in the top 25 in four of his five trips to the Travelers. That includes a pair of T-13s and a T-5 in 2013. Ranked No. 6 this year on tour in Thursday scoring, it's just a matter of time before he finishes strong on a weekend and picks up career win No. 2.
Ryan Moore: With top 15s in five of his last six starts here, including three top fives, Moore is probably the safest play in the field. Well, if you forget about the fact he hasn't had a top 10 in a stroke-play event since March. Then again, you would have said the same thing about Jimmy Walker before last week. . .
__ Bench:__ Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson.
And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:
Yahoo! lineup: Ryan Moore, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed, Paul Casey (starters); Bubba Watson, Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald, Brendan Steele (bench).
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Ryan Moore.
Previously used: Kevin Chappell (Quicken Loans), Jason Day (PGA Championship), Bryson DeChambeau (Valero), Luke Donald (Valspar), Jason Dufner (RBC), Matt Every (Bay Hill), Tony Finau (Frys.com), Jim Furyk (Canadian), Sergio Garcia (Riviera), Bill Haas (Farmers), J.B. Holmes (Wells Fargo), Dustin Johnson (U.S. Open -- winner!), Kevin Kisner (RSM -- winner!), Russell Knox (Honda), Brooks Koepka (St. Jude), Matt Kuchar (Colonial), Anirban Lahiri (CIMB), Graeme McDowell (Hyundai), Kevin Na (Phoenix), Ryan Palmer (CareerBuilders), Scott Piercy (Byron Nelson), Patrick Reed (HSBC), Patrick Rodgers (Shriners), Adam Scott (British Open), Brandt Snedeker (Pebble), Brendan Steele (OHL), Henrik Stenson (Players), Justin Thomas (Sony), Bubba Watson (Masters).
And one more time, if you feel like listening to Joel and I jabber about the tournament, here you go: