Fantasy Island: Travelers Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2011, 5:30 pm experts offer up their picks for the Travelers Championship. Each week a panel of experts will offer up their picks from three groups of players based on Golf Channel's new fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel consists of: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Charlie Rymer; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' hosts Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias; contributor Win McMurry; writer for's ProGolf Talk, Ryan Ballengee; and's Rob Bolton.

You can battle the experts and play along as well. Just click here to get into the game.Compete against the experts and other fans in our Fantasy Challenge.

In parentheses, next to the names, are the participants' 2011 points earned and ranking among the 17 Fantasy Challenge 'experts.'

Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard (7,100,865; 5th)

Group A: Zach Johnson: Tough weekend at Congressional aside (72-74) he’s playing as well as anyone with an American passport at the moment.

Group B: Brandt Snedeker: Another American certainly trending in the right direction.

Group C: Kyle Stanley: If Bubba Watson’s victory last year was any indication, the biggest asset at the Travelers is a big driver..             

Randall Mell

Randall Mell (4,535,889; 16th)

Group A: Nick Watney: Americans have plenty of motivation to shut up detractors. Watney is hope for red, white and blue future.

Group B: Padraig Harrington: Irish eyes are smiling, why not Paddy? He will keep the party going over there.

Group C: Patrick Cantlay: Just became the first amateur to finish at or under par in a U.S. Open since Jack Nicklaus in 1960. Riding his momentum and confidence.

Jason Sobel

Jason Sobel (N/A, N/A)

Group A: Ian Poulter: Interesting choice to play in this event, but those 'interesting' ones often pay off.

Group B: Bo Van Pelt: Your current leader in U.S. Ryder Cup points? None other than BVP - through two events.

Group C: Justin Leonard: He rarely makes headlines anymore, but Leonard is enjoying a nice season so far.

Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer (6,576,613; 7th)

Group A: Bubba Watson: I predict a repeat ... or one might say, a 'Dubba-Bubba!'

Group B: Padraig Harrington: Trying to steal a little limelight from the Northern Irish guys.

Group C: >Boo Weekley: He's due, as long as he doesn't have to stop and ask for directions.

John Hawkins

John Hawkins (6,158,288; 9th)

Group A: Zach Johnson: Made some weekend noise at Congressional.

Group B: Brandt Snedeker: Quietly having a pretty good year.

Group C: Kenny Perry: Seems to stick out among the Cs

Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin (7,142,793; 4th)

Group A: Nick Watney: Got some rest after an MC at the U.S. Open. May be the best player in the field.

Group B: Padraig Harrington: If there is a three-time major winner in Group B, I'll take him nearly every time.

Group C: Tim Herron: Tied for third two weeks ago at the FedEx. I'll take my chances.

Gary Williams

Gary Williams (6,104,549; 10th)

Group A: Hunter Mahan: He wins or he contends. How can you not pick Hunter?

Group B: Bendon de Jonge: Shot a second-round 63 here last year en route to a T-9.

Group C: Kris Blanks: Was T-26 in '09 and T-9 in '10 at TPC River Highlands.

Erik Kuselias

Erik Kuselias (6,089,347; 11th)

Group A: Hunter Mahan: He won in '07 and has four top-4s in his last five starts here.

Group B: Bo Van Pelt: Good finishes in big events this year and a couple of top-10s here.

Group C: Kenny Perry: Won in 2009 and has five top-10s here in his last nine starts.

Win McMurry

Win McMurry (9,251,359; 1st)

Group A: Hunter Mahan: He missed the cut a year ago, but before that was money here with four consecutive top-4 finishes.

Group B: Brandt Snedeker: Took him last week at Congressional where he finished T-11 and am riding his momentum into Connecticut.

Group C: Nick O'Hern: Returns after a year away from the Travelers to a site where he finished solo third in 2007.

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee (4,601,820; 16th)

Group A: Bubba Watson: Defending champion and this Hartford course should be one he simply can overpower at will.

Group B: Fredrik Jacobson: Seems like the Swedes are starting to turn things around on the PGA Tour of late.

Group C: Kenny Perry: The 2009 champion of this event did so in unbelievable fashion, which might be a good sign of things to come this week.

Rob Bolton

Rob Bolton (6,254,719; 8th)

Group A: Hunter Mahan: All-time money leader at Travelers.

Group B: Webb Simpson: Leads the PGA Tour in All-around.

Group C: Tim Herron: Six top-20s here. Coming off a T-3 in Memphis.

For more in-depth fantasy golf coverage, visit Rotoworld powered by NBC Sports.RotoWorld


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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.