PGA Tour Inc.

06/25/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/25/2019 15:53

Fantasy Insider: Rocket Mortgage Classic


Kevin Tway … After a seriously rough three months early this year, he's turned it around to connect seven paydays since the Masters. His latest is a T5 at the Travelers Championship, which is his first top 10 since breaking through at the Safeway Open to launch the 2018-19 season. His ball-striking at TPC River Highlands was average, but he ranked fifth in Strokes Gained: Putting and co-led the field in Par-5 scoring. Given his usual comfort in finding greens in regulation, his distance off the tee and hot putter, the 30-year-old deserves a long look in all formats.

Vaughn Taylor … Ever since he prevailed at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2016, you can't help but feel that it's a conscious thought he's taking advantage of the second wind of his career. He already had achieved quite a bit, but even today he's only 43 years of age, so that unexpected victory was as definable a crossroads as you're going to see. Finishing fourth and one stroke back of Zack Sucher - the latest example of the beneficiary of a career-defining experience - at the Travelers Championship was Taylor's latest achievement. It was his third top 20 in five starts and sixth of the last five months.

Rory Sabbatini … Sat out last week following a T43 at the U.S. Open. He's cooled since stringing together four top 10s and a T18 in a six-week span, but the opportunity to reignite is in front of him in Detroit.

Zack Sucher … Although he has only two starts remaining on his medical extension, he's playing on house money in a sense. His T2 at TPC River Highlands was worth enough FedExCup points to qualify him for conditional status for the remainder of the season. This means that he's eligible for the Playoffs and cannot lose his card even if he fails to meet the terms of his medical for which he needs 77.089 FedExCup points. Now 126th in the FedExCup, consider him as a regular on TOUR for the summer as he won't be compelled to play the Korn Ferry Tour if he doesn't elbow his way into the PGA TOUR event of the same week.

Jason Dufner

Jason Kokrak

Harold Varner III


Bubba Watson … If he was going to return to a leaderboard, then it would have happened at TPC River Highlands where the three-time winner of the Travelers Championship backpedaled into a T54. Even as he's separated from that disappointment, it can't be overlooked that it was his fourth straight start in individual competition without a top 50. Hand the left-handed craftsman a tree-lined track with four par 5s and he should make noise, but there's just not enough evidence of late to invest into that hope.

Patrick Reed … This is relative and a nod to all of the gamers who refuse to hop aboard because he doesn't contend as often as his cachet suggests. He makes most cuts, but it's been five months since his last top 20 in a full-field event (T13, Farmers). Continues to struggle with his ball-striking, thus applying pressure to his peerless touch around the greens. That kind of profile will get lapped in a shootout more often than not.

Keith Mitchell … He looks good so often that it's tough to square that he's sprung for only one top 10 in his last nine starts. He's already rewarded the faithful with his breakthrough victory at The Honda Classic and a bevy of starts that it yielded, but the second-year TOUR member is still learning the ropes.

J.B. Holmes … Mired in an 0-for-6 skid and still without a top 60 in individual stroke-play competition since his win at the Genesis Open four months ago.

Kyle Stanley … Still having trouble putting it all together and his usually strong ball-striking has been pedestrian.

Si Woo Kim … Post-Masters, he's 1-for-7 with a T41 at Muirfield Village.

Cameron Smith … His missed cut at the Travelers Championship extended his drought without a top-50 finish to 10 starts.

Scott Stallings … Just 1-for-6 in the last two months, he's taken the step back into his customary position in support of only deeper full-season games. That said, I remain for the 34-year-old as he navigates his prime.

Bud Cauley

Charles Howell III

Matt Jones

Peter Uihlein

Returning to Competition

Stewart Cink … Sidelined with a sore back since missing the cut at the RBC Heritage for his record fifth straight MC. At 176th in the FedExCup, it's been a forgettable season for the 46-year-old. He's also not yet fully exempt for 2019-20, but he has one career earnings exemption to burn if cornered.

Colt Knost … Pulled out early from the Travelers Championship with a sore wrist. He's just 2-for-8 this season in his return from a second extended absence due to the malady. Has five starts remaining on his Major Medical Extension.

Notable WDs

C.T. Pan … First-time winners often find themselves happily adjusting to a new tier of tournaments for which they're eligible. The breakthrough champion of the RBC Heritage is included in that subset. His title earned him a spot at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. It also lifted him to within striking distance of the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking, into which he snuck inside with a T3 at Colonial. That achievement triggered an exemption into The Open Championship. Needless to say, at 29th in the FedExCup, life is good for the 27-year-old, who also must balance a busier slate with rest.

Abraham Ancer … He's been known to withdraw between the commitment deadline and the opening round. This is the second straight season that he has done so at least three times. Sits 55th in the FedExCup standings.

Hudson Swafford … Also withdrew early from last week's Travelers Championship with an injured foot. Prior to that, he missed five straight cuts and eight of his last nine. Currently 140th in the FedExCup and not yet fully exempt for 2019-20.

Jim Knous … The rookie missed the cut at TPC River Highlands and slots 145th in the FedExCup. He's one of this season's poster boys who illustrates the value of a hot start from the bottom reaches of the graduate reshuffle. Beginning the season at 48th in the category, he finished T10 at the Safeway Open and vaulted 35 spots in the first reorder (at the conclusion of the fall events). That's allowed for a regular schedule, during which he's played 15 times in the 2019 portion and hasn't needed to moonlight on the Korn Ferry Tour to stay sharp or consider building a base of points to qualify for its Finals.

Julián Etulain … He was dealing with a sore wrist in April and missed four straight cuts before opting out of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. At 154th in the FedExCup standings, he can't afford to miss too much time if he's going to continue to play.

Power Rankings Recap - Travelers Championship

Power Ranking Golfer Result

1 Paul Casey T5

2 Patrick Cantlay T15

3 Brooks Koepka T57

4 Bubba Watson T54

5 Jordan Spieth MC

6 Charley Hoffman MC

7 Francesco Molinari T57

8 Marc Leishman T21

9 Kevin Streelman T15

10 Justin Thomas T36

11 Brandt Snedeker T43

12 Louis Oosthuizen T36

13 Jason Day T8

14 Chez Reavie Win

15 Bryson DeChambeau T8

Wild Card Tony Finau MC

Sleepers Recap - Travelers Championship

Golfer Result

Aaron Baddeley MC

Anirban Lahiri MC

Danny Lee MC

Sebastián Muñoz MC

José de Jesús Rodríguez MC

Birthdays among active golfers on the PGA TOUR

June 25 … John Rollins (44)

June 26 … Colt Knost (34)

June 27 … none

June 28 … Si Woo Kim (24)

June 29 … Anirban Lahiri (32); Trey Mullinax (27)

June 30 … Patrick Rodgers (27)

July 1 … none