Travelers Championship experts' picks

June, 17, 2014
06/17/14
2:04
PM ET

Each week of the season, our experts share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low this week), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week, the PGA Tour is at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, for the Travelers Championship.

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Horse for the Course

Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Bubba Watson

Since 2008 his worst finish is a tie for 38th. Other than that he hasn't finished outside the top 14 including a win and a runner-up. For Bubba this is exactly what he needs coming off the stress of the U.S. Open even though he didn't make the weekend.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Patrick Cantlay

Now a Web.Com Tour member, Cantlay is yet to fulfill the promise he first showed when he set the course record at TPC River Highlands in 2011 as a 19-year-old amateur.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Bubba Watson. 

The reigning Masters champ missed the cut at the U.S. Open but he's been solid at TPC River Highlands, where he has a victory and three other top-six finishes.


Birdie Buster

Collins: Webb Simpson

Seems like Webb is now out of a mini slump he had from March through May.  He missed three of five cuts before a solid week in Memphis and an OK week at the U.S. Open.  Now he gets a track on which he's never missed a cut in six years. If that nugget doesn't jinx him, expect a top-15 finish.

Evans: Matt Kuchar

At Pinehurst, Mr. Consistency took his 13th top-25 in 16 events in 2014. It's a surprise when he doesn't play well.

Harig:  Jason Day

He didn't make a lot of birdies last week at Pinehurst, but he had a very positive result, a tie for fourth in the U.S. Open after lots of uncertainty about his game due to a thumb injury.


Super Sleeper

Collins: Wes Roach

Roach is having some typical rookie struggles on the PGA Tour. The third-year pro has the game to succeed once he finds his legs out there. He comes into the week on a streak of three missed cuts ... all the more reason this week's top-10 finish is super!

Evans: Erik Compton

After what had to be one of the most emotionally exhausting and physically trying weeks of his career at the U.S. Open, the two-time heart transplant recipient could have a letdown this week in Hartford. But he needs to keep playing while his fortunes are soaring.

Harig: Erik Compton

A tie for second at the U.S. Open is among the stories of the year for a guy who has had two heart transplants. But he's got to be out of gas, too. It's been an emotional time, with numerous requests. Perhaps Compton keeps the good vibe going.

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Winner

Collins: Ryan Moore

Coming off a T-48 at the U.S. Open, Moore returns to a place where a win is about the only thing missing on his résumé. Half of his eight starts have resulted in top-10s, including two runner-up finishes. Having one win already this season, he would be in prime position for a Ryder Cup spot with another win this week.

Evans: Dustin Johnson

Without Martin Kaymer in the field at Pinehurst, the eight-time tour winner would have been in a great position to grab his first major championship. Now he must look ahead to the Open Championship next month and hope that he gets into contention with the Claret Jug in reach on Sunday. A win at the Travelers will help Johnson move on from the U.S. Open.

Harig: Keegan Bradley

The New England native is due for a win and is coming off a solid performance at Pinehurst, where he tied for fourth and shot three rounds in the 60s on a course that yielded few under-par scores.

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