Written by: Scott Schaeffer
All are looking for a rebound from a fairly standard week of fruitless picks at the Travelers. Here's a breakdown of each prayer the crew hopes is answered in Detroit. My take on the picks can be found beneath each summary in a section titled "The READ":
"THE READ": With an already commanding lead, DJ is embracing his luxury by putting his eggs into the basket of this week’s favorite, Bryson. Chances are the 50 “eggs” DJ is depositing into Bryson’s basket wouldn’t be sufficient to get the beefy boy through the week. I agree with the NLU consensus that Bryson has yet to put it all together, despite finishing top 10 in three consecutive weeks since the return of golf (and 6 straight overall!!). However, I wonder if fatigue or sluggishness starts to become a factor in what is now his fourth straight week of competition. He’s assuredly still adjusting to his new frame and likely struggling to maintain his mass of ass.
Dennis is also fading guys who finished Top 20 in last year’s RMC in ALL 3 legs of his matchup parlay. Seems DJ's comfy lead has propelled him into the mindset of a gambling aficianado, as he submerges himself fully into the contrarian waters. Will he be able to swim with the sharps?
"THE READ": Randy has graciously returned from his moral duty to assist the supers at both Colonial and Harbour Town. The big guy couldn't bring himself to make picks given the disgusting act that took place on the first tee at Colonial prior to the playoff. He then spent many hours meticulously raking and smoothing the bunker behind the 18th green at Harbour Town which Carlos Ortiz's caddy shamelessly left unkempt.
After investing hours of sweat equity back into the game, Randy is ready to make his picks debut this week. Simply sitting on the sidelines has vaulted Big Randy into 2nd place amongst a group of sad saps in the overall standings. A U.S. open has broken out on the NLU leaderboard. If not for DJ, many would argue DK Sportsbook has lost the course.
Randy's first pick was certainly inauspicious, as he joined his Strapped brother Neil in picking a player who tested positive for COVID-19 and then withdrew before our video was even released. The big guy's intel is telling him Will Gordon is wayyyyy too comfy following his promotion to Special Temporary Membership. His remaining picks showcased his true color: orange. While the faux mortician Randall has declared both Rory and DJ lifeless, his picks indicate his belief that Rickie is decidedly still kicking. Rickie is competing this week in a tournament title-sponsored by one of his endorsers. In other news, Faldo is suggesting tour players chip exclusively with an 8 iron, Bill Belichick is making winning moves, and the sky remains blue.
"THE READ": TC’s loyalty to the NLU hitters last week was certainly representative of his character and class. It was also reminiscent of an uncle who plays a little too fast and loose at the casual family poker game.
At the end of the day, Freddy’s gotta go to college…which means Tron is abandoning his morals this week and backing a familiar foe in Jason Day....disgusting. After witnessing Day’s ability to manipulate his tee time and pairing last Saturday, TC clearly believes J-Day has a leg-up on the field. Sad to see the potential for a few “nuggets” can cause even the man himself to stray far from the TC way.
As always TC keeps us plugged in to the Korn Ferry Tour this week with his mega matchup parlay. It's always cooler to see a life-changing win on that Tour in comparison to DJ upping his net worth by about 0.1%.
"THE READ": A slow start for Soly has him swinging for the fences in an attempt to cut into DJ’s commanding lead. Admitted to making his picks under the assumption that Detroit GC was a bomber’s track but, at 7,100 yards and Par 72, that’s not necessarily the case. Many moderate length guys lined the top of last year’s leaderboard. Luckily for Soly, only one player in the “nukey-boy-naish” lineup he supposedly attempted even ranks within the top 60 in driving distance (Finau). I guess two contradictions could net a positive outlook for Soly this week.
I think the golf world is unanimously excited to see how Chris Kirk responds this week in his first start since ending his four-year win drought two weeks ago on the Korn Ferry Tour. The drought paralleled an ongoing struggle with depression and alcoholism that led to Kirk taking an extended leave from professional golf. Kirk is the featured guest on today's NLU pod. Both Kirk and Soly’s penultimate pick, Brendon Todd, have provided uniquely inspirational stories of mental toughness in the last year…and Soly now has a stake in both continuing their success in Detroit this week.
"THE READ": Taking a much needed siesta from the grind of handicapping golf this week. Some, not me, are calling it a Chez-induced rehabilitation stint. Can’t really call his performance thus far an “Icarito” as Neil has yet to come close to winning a single pick so far. On the other hand, you can’t choke if you never get out in front. Would you rather be a Greg Norman or a Bobby Clampett? (Don't answer)
"THE READ": Like Soly, I am a believer in the chances of Patty Reed and Hovland this week. Hoping to avoid a cheating scandal and an excess of chipping opportunities, respectively. Doc and Stuard are a couple guys who played well here last year and aren't afraid to make a ton of birdies...which will certainly be a requirement to contend this Sunday. Looking for somewhere to throw those quarters lingering in your cupholders? Look no further than Wes Roach (150:1). Led last year's field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and finished T5 two weeks ago in the Korn Ferry Challenge @TPC Sawgrass. Anticipating he comes in free and easy.
The standings below are as of completion of last week's Travelers Championship. If you like my perspective and want more content related to the crew's picks and year-to-date status, I can be found on twitter and instagram @total_misread. If your picks are making ours look even more atrocious than they already do, let us know!