This week the European Tour concludes its three-week Desert Swing with the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; editorial director Jay Coffin; associate editor Will Gray; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; host Charlie Rymer and defending fantasy champion Ryan Lavner.
Group 1: Rory McIlroy: For the same reason we picked him in his 2015 debut two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi (where he finished second), he’s the world No. 1.
Group 2: Stephen Gallacher: The Scot will be looking for the Dubai three-peat this week and he hasn’t missed a cut since last September.
Group 3: Emilian Grillo: He has a solid history in Dubai, finishing runner-up last year to Gallacher, and is playing well following his tie for fifth last week in Qatar.
Group 4: Dawie van der Walt: The big-hitting South African is a perfect fit for the sprawling Dubai layout and finished tied for 29th in the desert last year.
Group 1: Rory McIlroy: I tried to get cute with my Group 1 pick at Abu Dhabi by straying from McIlroy. Not making the same mistake twice on the Desert Swing.
Group 2: Alexander Levy: The Frenchman won twice last year and is on the cusp of breaking into the top 50 in the world rankings. He might finally get the result he needs this week in Dubai.
Group 3: Thomas Pieters: The Belgian won the NCAA individual title at Illinois in 2012 and his pro career is off to a solid start, including a fourth-place showing two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi.
Group 4: Paul Lawrie: The former Open champ has been making a bit of a comeback in the early portion of this season, making three straight cuts and finishing T-20 earlier this month in Abu Dhabi.