People are saying this is a weak field, but that’s ridiculous. Cink, Kuchar, Mahan, Van Pelt, Harrington, Fowler, Rose, Goosen and Scott are all looking to pick up at win at a great venue. I’m sure the players couldn’t be more excited to go low after a grueling week at Pebble Beach. This week we head to the TPC at River Highlands where we should have a shootout with some familiar faces in the hunt.
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NIKE GOLF: Two to Watch
Cink is a two-time winner here (1997, 2008) and has played well as of late. Other than his T40 at the US Open, his last start have been T8 and a couple of other Top 25’s. I think Cink will finish very high this week and is among the favourites to win it.
Three of his last four starts have been Top 30’s. At this event he’s had a T37 in ’08, T15 in ’07 and T31 in ’06. Nothing too special, so I wouldn’t expect much, but he could be a good sleeper since he’s familiar with the course and playing decent.
THE FIELD: Four Who Are Hot
Recent starts – 1st at Memorial
He’s only played two tournaments in the past month and I think he’s enjoyed his time off since his win at Memorial. Rose had a T19 here in ’08, T9 in ’07 and a T5 in ’05, so he should be full of confidence heading into this week.
Matt Kuchar — WD as of Wednesday morning
Recent starts – T27 at US Open, T3 at Memorial, T7 at Crowne Plaza
I don’t give Barnes a lot of credit, but he is playing well. T58 last year is his only start, but he can contend again.
Bo Van Pelt
Recent starts – T40 at US Open, T3 at Memorial, T10 at Crowne Plaza, T4 at The Players, 5th at Quail Hollow, T3 at Verizon
I’m still not sold on Bo Van Pelt. He is playing very well, but he’s only 13th on the Money List. This would be a good week for him to win. I just think he’ll be exhausted and is due for a missed cut, but he did have a T9 at this event last year and a T6 in ’07.
Recent starts – T47 at US Open, T5 at Crowne Plaza, T5 at Byron Nelson, T13 at The Players.
He’s been under the radar with his recent finishes, but he’s right up there with the best of them. He had a T9 here last year, T17 in ’08 and a T5 in ’07. He’s been very good here and I think he can keep it up.
THE FIELD: Four Who Have History
Best finishes here – T4 in ’09, T2 in ’08, 1st in ’07, T2 in ’06, T21 in ’04
Coming off of 3 straight MC’s, I’m really looking for Mahan to rebound. He’s a great player with a win this year. His record here is impeccable and I fully expect him to win this week as an underdog.
Best finishes here – T4 in ’09, T13 in’08, T21 in ’06, T4 in ’05
Ben is coming off of a T14 at the US Open in addition to his great history at River Highlands. Curtis is a big sleeper this week at can definitely make a splash.
Best finishes here – T2 in ’09, T27 in ’08, T6 in ’07
I just think Toms is another guy due for a win. He hasn’t played amazingly, but he’s had a T33 at the US Open, along with a pair of Top 30’s before that. Maybe history can help him out a bit this week.
Best finishes here – 1st in 09, T6 in ’08, T15 in ’07, 7th in ’05
Perry should be the favourite given his record here. Coming off a T33 at the US Open, he posted a quiet string of 4 straight Top 30’s. Perry is coming back into form and should feel very comfortable heading into this week.
FINAL FOUR: Hunter Mahan, Ryan Moore, Brandt Snedeker and Stewart Cink
Smaller field this week, but still very hard to make picks. Kuchar withdrew so I took Snedeker. Ryan Moore is my sleeper of this week, he actually has a very good history here, so maybe he can help me out. Tough not to take Verplank, Van Pelt and Perry, too. Also, Rickie Fowler and Padraig Harrington are playing, along with Vijay. Also, Adam Scott and Retief are looking to rebound this week, so it’s actually a very good field.
Check out the full field here >> The Travelers Championship Full Field
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