5 Power Picks: Travelers Championship


This week signals the 66th running of the Travelers Championship, and this year’s field at TPC River Highlands includes some of the biggest names in golf, including Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and Jason Day.

In addition to those three, the Travelers will also contain a number of players who were at, or near, the top of their games in the season’s second major at Erin Hills, including Brian Harman, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, and Brandt Snedeker.

As we do each week, here are 5 Power Picks for the 2017 Travelers Championship.

Rory McIlroy

Rory struggled last week at Erin Hills, missing another cut in a major (3 of the last 5). But we’ll give him a pass on this one, as he’s been limited to just eight worldwide events on the season, due to a rib injury, while also breaking in some new clubs.


  • Travelers: This will be Rory’s first-ever start at the Travelers.
  • Last Season: Rory is coming off a season where he won the FedEx Cup after winning two playoff events (in Boston and East Lake).
  • Current Season: In seven PGA Tour starts on the 2016-17 season, Rory has four top-10s.
  • Rankings: FedEx Rank: 69, World Rank: 3

Jason Day

Day’s 2017 season as a whole has been somewhere between mediocre and flat-out terrible. His game seemed to be coming around with a runner-up at the Byron Nelson and a T15 at The Memorial. But then he showed up in Wisconsin and proceeded to shoot 79-75 (+10), missing the cut by a mile.


  • Travelers: This will be Day’s third start at TPC River Highlands. His two previous starts: T27 (2008), T18 (2014).
  • Last Season: Day is coming off a three-win season, ending the season ranked No. 1 in the world.
  • Current Season: In 11 starts on the 2016-17 season, Day is winless, with just two top 10s.
  • Rankings: FedEx Rank: 45, World Rank: 4

Jordan Spieth

Of the Big 3 in the field, Spieth is having the best season. But then again, that’s not saying much. The two-time major winner had a strong start to the new season with three straight top 10s followed by a win at Pebble. Since then, however, it’s been less than impressive with just a single top 10 in 10 starts.


  • Travelers: Like Rory, Spieth will make his debut in Connecticut.
  • Last Season: The 23-year-old is coming off another successful season with two wins, and eight other top 10s.
  • Current Season: In 14 starts this season, Spieth has a win (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am) and four additional top-10s.
  • Rankings: FedEx Rank: 6, World Rank: 6

Justin Thomas

A record-setting 9-under 63 on Saturday made Thomas the talk of the U.S. Open. Unfortunately for him, he completely lost his momentum early in the final round on the way to a 3-over 75 that dropped him from T2 to T9. Even still, this season has been a monumental success for Thomas, with three victories.


  • Travelers: This is Thomas’s fourth start at TPC River Highlands where his lone missed cut came in 2015. His best finish came last year (T3).
  • Last Season: Thomas is coming off an up and down season where he picked up a win, but had more cuts (6) than top 10s (4).
  • Current Season: Thomas is having a terrific 2016-17 Tour season with three wins, and four additional top 10s.
  • Rankings: FedEx Rank: 3, World Rank: 12

Bubba Watson

Bubba is on this list only because he’s a two-time winner at the Travelers, taking the title in both 2010 and 2015. While his game has been a mess, since early last season, he does have two recent top 10s to go along with three missed cuts.


  • Travelers: This is Bubba’s 11th start at TPC River Highlands where he has won twice, in addition to a runner-up, and two other top 10s.
  • Last Season: Bubba’s 2016 season started nicely with a win at the Northern Trust, and jumping to No. 4 in the world. He followed that up with a runner-up at Doral. Since, though, Bubba’s game has gone south.
  • Current Season: The calendar year did little for Bubba’s game. Now at world No. 40 (from 4), he has three times as many missed-cuts (6) as top 10s (2).
  • Rankings: FedEx Rank: 109, World Rank: 40

Photo Credits: Getty Images


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