The PGA Tour heads to TPC River Highlands this week for the Travelers Championship. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams and staff writer Ryan Lavner. They are joined by former 'Saturday Night Live' star Norm Macdonald, who will serve as a celebrity guest.
Group 1: Bubba Watson: It’s been a disappointing season so far, but he has a strong record in Hartford, with a win and three other top-15 finishes in the past five years.
Group 2: Freddie Jacobson: Despite missing two cuts in a row heading into this week, the Junkman has a win and T-8 finishes in his last two starts here, respectively.
Group 3: Brian Davis: Has missed only one cut since March, and had top 10s at TPC River Highlands in both 2011 and ’12.
Group 4: Chez Reavie: Was T-11 here last year, and is coming off three consecutive top-30 finishes. Decent value in a weak group.
Group 1: Justin Rose: Maybe the Today Show and Letterman are not the best ways to prepare for a tournament, but the U.S. Open champion is still one of the hottest players in the game right now and he is extremely confident. That’s a good combination.
Group 2: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano: Quietly finished tied for 10th place last week at Merion but he continues to grow louder with each top-10 showing (five this season across the globe).
Group 3: Ben Curtis: Although it’s been an inconsistent season for the veteran, he has two T-4 finishes at TPC River Highlands (2005 and ’09) and could use the boost.
Group 4: Chez Reavie: He is on a solid run – finishing T-21, T-11 and T-27 in his last three starts – and has the type of clutch short game that has become the hallmark of Travelers Championship winners.