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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Tiger Tracker: 42nd Ryder Cup

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 25, 2018, 1:15 pm

Fresh off his 80th PGA Tour victory at the Tour Championship, Tiger Woods is competing in his first Ryder Cup since 2012. We're tracking him.

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Euros wearing yellow ribbons to honor slain golfer

By Will GraySeptember 25, 2018, 12:51 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – European Ryder Cup team members will wear yellow ribbons this week to honor Celia Barquin Arozamena, who was murdered last week while playing golf.

Arozamena went to school at Iowa State, but she was a native of Spain and won the European Amateur Championship in July. She was attacked and killed Sept. 17 while playing a round by herself at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, Iowa.

European captain Thomas Bjorn wore one of the ribbons while addressing media Tuesday at Le Golf National, and he explained that the decision to honor Arozamena came out of a discussion between Ryder Cup Europe and her mother.

Ryder Cup: Articles, photos and videos

“The golfing family extends beyond what we are trying to do this week,” Bjorn said. “It’s nothing about us, but it’s just more about that the golfing family gets touched by these things all over the world. It’s terrible when things like this happen.”

Arozamena considered Ryder Cup stalwart and fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia one of her idols growing up, and the two met when she was a child. Garcia sent condolences out via social media last week, saying he was “heartbroken” over her death.

“Such a great prospect for the game of golf she was, but also a wonderful person,” Bjorn said. “When you speak to Sergio and [Spaniard] Jon [Rahm] about it, they couldn’t talk highly enough about her. We felt like that was appropriate for the week.”

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Spieth, Reed in different groups during Tuesday practice

By Rex HoggardSeptember 25, 2018, 12:38 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Tuesday’s U.S. groupings at the Ryder Cup may give a glimpse into what potential pairings we will see this week at Le Golf National.

In the day’s first foursome, Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed played together. The second group included Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas; and the anchor group was Bubba Watson, Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka and Webb Simpson.

Whether those groups will make up captain Jim Furyk’s version of the team’s pods, however, remains to be seen. Given that half of his team has never played Le Golf National, Furyk said he tried to match players on Tuesday with those who had some experience on the course.

Ryder Cup: Articles, photos and videos

“Today is really about trying to learn the golf course and hit some solid golf shots,” Furyk said. “There may be some pairings out there and there's some groups there isn't. Just want them concentrating on their own game right now. They are very aware of who they will be playing with this week and they are very aware of some of the options they have.”

Given the success of previous pairings and some relatively obvious choices, it seems there are some likely options for the U.S. Woods and DeChambeau have become regular practice-round partners and at the Tour Championship they experimented with the other player’s golf balls on Tuesday.

It also seems likely that Spieth-Thomas and Fowler-Johnson will be paired in some form this week.

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Le Golf National nothing like wide open Hazeltine

By Will GraySeptember 25, 2018, 12:00 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – The layout at Le Golf National has a distinctly European feel, and captain Thomas Bjorn hopes to keep it that way at the Ryder Cup.

Gone are the wide fairways and short rough of Hazeltine, where the Americans bombed and gouged their way to their first team victory in nearly a decade. This week players will encounter one of the tightest and most demanding tracks on the European Tour, where water lurks around nearly every corner.

“Well this is a tough golf course, to start with,” Bjorn said Tuesday. “I like the idea of a golf course that’s set up like a championship golf course. You’ve got to identify guys that are hitting the golf ball well. Identify guys that are playing good golf that week.”

Ryder Cup: Articles, photos and videos

Unlike the other recent Ryder Cup host venues on this side of the Atlantic, Le Golf National is somewhat of a known entity in that it annually hosts the European Tour’s French Open. It’s a tournament that Ryder Cup rookies Tommy Fleetwood and Alex Noren have won each of the last two years, while teammates Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia both cracked the top 10 in June.

That should give the Europeans an advantage when it comes to familiarity, and Bjorn’s plans for course setup included a desire to ensure the experience factor for his players would still be relevant this week amid larger-than-normal grandstands.

“There’s guys on this team that have played a lot of French Opens. I don’t want them to show up and it’s a completely different golf course to what they are used to,” Bjorn said. “This is very similar to what it is normally.”

Despite the similarities in setup, there will still be plenty of adjustments for the American squad. Justin Thomas was the only U.S. player to make the trek for this year’s French Open, and captain Jim Furyk admitted that only six of his 12 players had seen the course at all prior to this week.

“We’re just trying to figure it out,” Furyk said. “Europe knows this golf course well. They have played the French Open here. We’re trying to figure out the setup and what they have in store for the week.”