NBC Predictor: Travelers Championship

Josh Culp

Golf Channel (NBC Sports Predictor App)

The Golf Channel has an exciting fantasy golf game for 2019.

The format is simple as you pick six head-to-head matchups. Then you pick a winner and winning score. 

The winner/winners split this week's top prize of $1,500. Anyone that earns 60 points for the week is also given an entry to the FootJoy $100,000 Championship which is a multi-week elimination-style contest that will take place later in the season. 

We will provide our picks for the format below and then provide some notes about why we chose our matchup picks or why we like a certain golfer to win. 

Josh Culp 
@FutureOfFantasy

Top Weekly Score: 85 pts

Matchups: 
Brooks Koepka over Bubba Watson
Jason Day over Jordan Spieth
Bryson DeChambeau over Phil Mickelson
Paul Casey over Francesco Molinari
Patrick Cantlay over Justin Thomas
Matthew Wolff over Viktor Hovland

Winner: 
Patrick Cantlay (-15)

 

Josh's Notes: 

Koepka's major championship performances are going to start leaking into regular events soon. I'll take him against Bubba Watson who has elite course history but has struggled with his short game this season. 

Day and Spieth can both light up the field on the greens but Day has shown more tee-to-green consistency this season. I'll lean with the Aussie. 

Mickelson's inaccuracy off the tee continues to catch up with him so I will go against him until that changes. 

Molinari and Casey are both superb plays this week but Casey has three top 5s at TPC River Highlands in four visits. 

JT is really struggling with the putter so I will gladly go with Cantlay who has his career-low round at TPC River Highlands (10-under 60 in R2 of the 2011 Travelers). The last five winners have landed in the 12-to-17 under range. 

Wolff and Hovland is a good battle of freshly-turned pros but I will side with Wolff who is well rested instead of Hovland who just impressed the world with a top 15 at Pebble Beach. It would be hard to back up that kind of effort with another good result. Especially with the cross-country travel which is another new element for him to adjust to. 

 

Mo Yoshimoto 
@Bears3423” 

Top Weekly Score: 90 pts

Matchups: 
Brooks Koepka over Bubba Watson
Jason Day over Jordan Spieth
Bryson DeChambeau over Phil Mickelson
Francesco Molinari over Paul Casey
Patrick Cantlay over Justin Thomas
Viktor Hovland over Matthew Wolff

Winner: 
Francesco Molinari (-15)

 

Mo's Notes: 

This event reminds of last season's Quicken Loans National for some reason. Perhaps it's the time of year, as the QLN was played the week after the Travelers.

Molinari won the QLN by eight shots in a tournament-record, 21-under 259, closing with a bogey-free, course-record-tying 8-under 62.

That was his first TOUR win and came at a TPC (Potomac) on a shortish par 70 (7,107 yards), similar to this week's 6,841-yard test at TPC River Highlands. The Italian has added wins at the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie (par 71) -- the first player from Italy to win a major -- and the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational (par 72), where he came from five back with bogey-free, 8-under 64 to win by two.

All told, he's won three times in his last 18 starts.

On a correlated course, Augusta National, the 36-year-old was a 36-hole co-leader and the 54-hole leader back in April, before finishing T5 (70-67-66-74).

This is his third Travelers, first since a T47 in 2016, where he was T11 thru 54 holes (71-67-65-73). In his 2015 debut, Molinari was T8 after 36 holes (67-66) before 69-71 for T25.

He checks in off a respectable T16 at last week's U.S. Open, where he ranked T9 in total birdies (17) and T3 in Putting Average (1.46).

Molinari is scheduled out in Round 1 at 7:35 am local time with Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas. Two of his three TOUR wins came out of the EARLY/late draw.